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Phantom debt collectors impersonate law firms

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Getting a call from a debt collector can be stressful. But it can be downright frightening when the caller uses lies, profanity and threats to try to get you to pay. In a case announced today, the FTC says a debt collection operation in Charlotte, NC pretended to be lawyers. Really, they were not lawyers and had no authority to collect debts.

The FTC says the “collectors” used a variety of names to make people think they were dealing with a law firm. The imposters told people they were delinquent on a payday loan or other debt and threatened them with arrest, jail time, or getting sued unless they paid by credit or debit card over the phone.

Sometimes, the callers had personal information, like Social Security and bank account numbers, or relatives’ names. The callers used this information to convince people that the calls were legitimate.

In truth, the FTC says, the defendants pressured people into paying debts they never owed.

You can’t be arrested for not paying your bills. If a debt collector calls about a debt – and before you agree to pay anything – ask for a written proof that says how much money you owe and to who, and what to do if you don’t think you owe the money. By law, debt collectors have to send you a written document, called a validation notice, within five days after they first contact you. If they don’t, that’s a warning sign that they may not be legitimate.

Debt collection complaints account for nearly one-third of consumer complaints to the FTC. If you, or someone you know, has gotten a suspicious debt collection call, report it to the FTC. With your help, we’re finding the bad guys and putting them out of business.

 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit
Scam Tags:  Debt & Credit Scams

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I have received 3 voicemails from ‭+1 (281) 918-4361‬ which is a non fix VOIP number. A man who calls himself Alex says there is possible legal action against me and if I don’t call them back at 1-888-241-3424 within 24 hours I will be marked as non compliant and legal action may proceed without me. It’s has been 2 weeks of these calls so the 24 hours is a red flag along with the non listed numbers. I will not initiate contact with him. Pretty sure it’s a scammer. I haven’t done anything that would involve legal action. I’ll believe it is legitimate if a Sheriff’s deputy delivers me papers.

Keep getting restricted calls .they finally left voicemail saying my wife owes a debt. Asked for validation to be mailed to me.lady on the phone cursed me out said debt was over a year old and they don't have to say validation cursed me out some more. On voicemail They said they were from thomas and partners. Called thomas and partners which is a investment firm to let them know a scammer is using their name.

I recieved a call from a private number they were asking all kinds of info I hung up on them. They called back left a message 8664759738 saying they were trying to deliver legal documents and filing against me I needed to call today and they were coming to see me Wednesday! I called the number they answer skyline I asker Rodger who answers what was there address he got so aggressively rude with me and refused the information??? Wow guess they don’t like you flipping it in them

So i just got a call from a coworker saying that this 8449506254 number called my phone looking for a family member that does not work there. This os the second time it happend and i told them that not to call and that this was fake. They were very rude and hung up twice when i asked to talk to someone higher. If there are scammer willing to go this far why is there no law to protect people against this

Question-- I routinely ignore so called collection calls because my bad debts usually were from 2011 (unless I accidentally answered a call a few years later and 'restarted the debt clock' I believe they've all expired by now (7+ yrs)... What few written letters I've gotten mention by law that they they have to make that statement...) But I just caught a legitimate call where they had already been granted the right to garnish because I had answered a call in 2015...

So now I am getting calls from Capital Reassurance and I don't know if it's a scam entirely, they really have the right to ask me to make a statement or if it's a trick to try and get me to restart the clock from something that otherwise expired.

If I take your advice and request a written document wouldn't that 1. Restart the clock because I would be acknowledging the debt and 2. Wouldn't it be giving them my current address (which they likely don't have isn't that giving them more power to come after me in collections if it hasn't expired?)

How do I get more information out of an unknown caller without restarting the 7 year clock?

Thank you. Please someone let me know if I have to make a new question somewhere or if it's sufficient to leave this here in a comment.

If you have old debts, a debt collector might not be able to sue you to collect on the debt. But the debt collector is still allowed to contact you about an old debt. Usually, state law determines how long the statute of limitations lasts on a debt. 

The FTC article about time-barred debts explains what you can do if a collector calls about an old debt. 

8667440562 has started back calling me after several months talking about they are a law firm that does not exist

‭+1 (650) 318-1341‬ was a number I received a call from saying it’s from meyers litigation services. They called from that #, and also from Connecticut and Delaware. I have no clue what that could be because they just call and leave a random message which is cut 1/2 at times. It’s very frustrating.

New calls coming from an 855 number claiming to be some firm called Wellington. The person harrassing me is named Alexis Collins. Some guy named Micheal stupidly gave up the last name. Second time this has happened. And they have contacted my daughter first, whom I never use in any personal dealings.

18883203124(bogus debt collector)
First my mother called me saying the police are looking for me for theft, they impersonated a police officer, then when I call them they pretend their a law firm wanting money from a debt 13 yrs ago that I knew the company had already sold off , they tried lying to me saying if I don't pay it's a criminal case not civil because of the contract I sign with said business.

Got a call saying I will be sued and since they can’t locate me they are going to call my place of employment and speak to my supervisor.

I called back asking who they are and what they do.

All she said was they are a place called liberty and it’s a law firm.

Weird she had my info, but when she said who she was calling for I knew it was bull because I just recently had to file for bankruptcy and that account was included and closed, cleared. No longer be collected on, ever.

I asked her why no letters, no previous calls, she wanted me to confirm my mailing address!!
Sure lady!
Told her it’s against the law to contact me, my employer, friends or family, I was recording the conversation. She got hostile.
I hung up

Name she gave: liberty
Phone number. 866-590-7161

I've received a phone call along with various family members asking to verify where I live and work and even calling my work from Enterprise that I need to call immediately or documents will be served to me. They gave me a number to call back 800-294-2137 and left me a reference number. I've called the number but the mumble the first part and hear Enterprise this is Jeremy. They state I owe $1238.74 and I have 72 hours to pay them or legal action will be taken and they will show up to my home or work to serve me. This is a scam, the debt collector is trying to scare you to pay more than what is owed or you may not even owe anything at all. They have gotten all your information from a hacker of some sort with Equifax or another credit company like that.

I got a call from 866-744-0562 saying their from Holland and levies. Said my name first then said looking for Melissa about loan fraud then said ok he will have sheriff office over to arrest melissa.

I'm in Texas and been receiving calls and text from 1.888.320.3124 and other ghost numbers, this number gave threats of arrest and subpoena. They even called my sister harassing her. Very strange considering I have lived in the same house for years and anyone can find me to send documents or serve a subpoena etc. I recently paid to have my credit report cleaned up and didn't have really any major negatives on the reports but have been receiving these weird calls now and I'm tired of them so if they can not identify themselves properly or follow the law then what are you suppose to do. I now ignore or block all numbers I do not know as a scam because I'm tired of the scammers.

received a phone call from 775-200-7845 (Reno, NV) claiming to be clear view mediation out of california - they knew my name and last 4 of my social security number (wanted me to verify if it was correct and i would not do so) - they told me they were not able to discuss anything with me if i would not verify the last four of my social and did i want to end up in court - i told them if they had something to send me to do so via mail or police - they asked me if i had ever been sued before because that was what was going to happen if i did not cooperate with them - i told them to go ahead and proceed with whatever they had to do
seriously what the heck is this?!

No phone call but rec'd an e-mail re:cash advance, re-pay over due.

I have never taken out out ANY cash advance, anywhere!

Threatened with legal action! Remit payment in 2 hrs.
This was on March 6th.

I've gotten 3 emails in the last week same thing

Got a call yesterday that was "no caller id" and then they called my sister-in-law Saying they're with a law firm LDS and they have papers to serve me with. Today same thing. Called me with no caller id. I don't answer calls that block their number. Then they called my brother in law and left a voice mail. This time they said they are from OLA associates. I asked where they were located (Cali) and while talking to her her googled both numbers who called my in laws and nothing. Googled OLA and nothing came up. I kept asking her what the law firm was and she would say these impossible names as the atts in the firm. I said.. Send me what you have in a certified letter and I'll look at it. She said they can take care of this debt right now for half. She then said she'd email me the info. I said sure. And that I'll discuss with my brother who's a judge. (he really is) I didn't receive email yet.

They keep calling from different number asking for the same info, to enter the last four of my social in order to continue. This is a scam, please do something.

Receiving emails from Jefferson Associates & Law Firm regarding a Speedy Cash loan, see below
The above invoice for $1840.00 has recently become overdue for payment. As such, we would appreciate you making this payment as soon as possible.
If we do not hear from you within 12 hours of the date on this letter, we will be compelled to seek legal representation from our company Attorney. We reserve the right to commence litigation for intent to commit wire fraud under the pretence of refusing to repay a debt committed to, by use of the internet. It seems apparent that you have chosen to ignore all our efforts to contact you in order to resolve your debt with Payday Services. At this point you have made your intentions clear and have left us no choice but to protect our interest in this matter.
If there is an error on our part and payment has been made, please contact us immediately so that the matter can be rectified. Otherwise, if there is a problem paying this amount owing, please contact us so that an alternative arrangement for payment can be made.
Despite my previous reminders, the above invoice for $1840.00 remains unpaid. As such, we would appreciate you making this payment as soon as possible.
We regret to advise that unless payment is received by today this invoice will be passed over to our debt collection agency/lawyer. This could seriously affect your credit rating so We urge you contact us immediately to make payment or arrange an alternative before this date.
Settlement Options/Outside Of Court Settlement (O.O.C.S):
Settlement Amount: $1840.00
Payment Plan: $184.00 x 10 Payments
Offer In Compromise: $950.00 Today
Payment Mode: Online
Click here to send us email for Settlement
Call Us Now
Attorney Mark Johnson (Recovery Department)
Jefferson Associates & Law Firm
Account Settlement | FDCPA | Jefferson Associates & Law Firm © 2019
CONFIDENTIAL: ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED; ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT: Emails and attachments received from us may be protected by the attorney-client privilege, as attorney work-product or based on other privileges or provisions of law. If you are not an intended recipient of this email, do not read, copy, use, forward or disclose the email or any of its attachments to others. Instead, immediately notify the sender by replying to this email and then delete it from your system. We strictly prohibit any unauthorized disclosure, copying, distribution or use of emails or attachments sent by us.

I have had this guy calling every now and again for years that knows my address , family, have contacted my family, social security number, place of work.... wanting to deliver a package but won’t meet at the sheriffs dpt to deliver. Anytime I tell them I’m tracing a call they hang up.

I've been getting scam calls from "law firms" attempting to collect a debt or else I'll be served, for a long time at my office and on my cell. Today I got a new one (and they're upping their game - it didn't sound like an obvious recording) on my cell from a "Restricted" number. They left a message, then immediately called my landline and left the same message:
"Hi, I'm calling for {my 1st and last name.} This is Nicole from the litigation department working with {a county in my state - but not the one in which I live} and unfortunately, we have a judgment against you that will be filed tomorrow morning. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Thomas Partners Associates at 951-228-9891 and mention case #72576." I immediately looked up the phone number which is a landline in Riverside, CA that belongs to a woman with several aliases. I looked up Thomas Partners Associates and this post on the FTC website was the first thing that came up. Needless to say, I won't be calling back.

Has anyone heard of whitmore and associates I can’t find a website for them and I believe I’m being scammed I’ve paid them 100.00 they have all my personal info and kept threatening to take me to court. Please can anyone instruct me as to what to do?

Some people called me just now with age or eager and associate but I dont own any loans or taxes I just hung up on them when I went to look them up it said they were a fraud

"UAA law office" is calling me non stop. They have some personal information and some very old information that is no longer valid. They have a claim number and stated that they were authorized to settle on a 10 year old debt for a fraction of what I owed otherwise I would receive a summons to go to court in a state I don't even live in. She asked if there was a family member that could help me pay the $5400 settlement amount. They also contacted me on a Saturday, what law firm is open on Saturday, especially during covid19? I was unable to find any information on this being a legitimate law firm, only information from countless others claiming the same type of threatening calls from a non existent company. The phone number that is calling me is 831-276-0060 and they said they were in LA county

I kept getting calls and they'd leave a message, saying this is a legal matter.... Today, they texted me info below:

This text is from ARS. We have a legally required noticed for (had my name here). Please text back or call in with your legal representation to discuss your documentation.
1-833-637-0199 and refer to file# XXXXXXX. Thank you.

I have not replied or responded back because I figured it was spam call and now text. After reading your info here, I'm now convinced it is a scam.

I along with 3 family members received a call from Kylie Brooks at 855-384-9847. She claimed they were trying to service me papers and that I needed to call them immediately and left a claim number. I called them to see what they had to say (knowing it was probably a scam) and I spoke to "Atty" Lisa Green. I told her to send me the paperwork backing up the claim that I owe them money and she said they wouldn't as I could falsify the document before court. I asked for her Attorney License Number and she said it is not a number that she needs to supply. I asked for the name of the business and I was told Pretrial claim services. I tried to look them up online and there is not a website.

I received a voice mail from a man claiming to be an independent finder named Mr Tyler Davis back in beginning of March. Said he received court sealed documents on his desk. He had my last four digits of my social security number and said he would come to my place of business or my home and stated almost the exact address I used to live at. Then he said I needed two forms of identification to show him proof it was me so he could deliver the documents. Or I could call the number attached to the file to put a stop order in. The number to call was 844-217-9685. I tried calling the number after hours and the machine comes on stating they were EAG and associates. No idea who they or a Mr Davis is. I never received any legalized document in person or by mail. So I knew better than to call that number back. I do not pick up the calls by the numbers I don't recognize or if it says scam caller. But I want to report this guy as well as many other calls I've gotten about my student loans. I keep getting calls from all different out of state numbers at all different times of the day. It drives me crazy. Please put a stop to this madness ASAP.
Thank you for reading my comments.

Is this real? They text non stop and call my work telling me to call an 833 number they won’t respond to a debt validation request There are dozens of ARS collections but they won’t say what theirs is. This is what they send.

This text is from ARS. We have a legally required noticed for #######. Please call or text with your attorney to discuss your case.While calling back refer to file# ###### 1-833-474-0160

They contacted my sister, apparently a law firm called Trident Everson & Associates claiming I need to call back immediately, I did after work, they was saying I owned money from 2011 to a bank that I was making fraud and that I need to make a payment of 1,618.00 if I want to avoid court costs. I don't even know if this law firm is real, I make them a 1st payment but I really don't know if is a legit law firm or not and I don't know how to resolve is very little the information in the internet about them. I never committed fraud or all the things he was alleged. But I remember I had an acct with that bank long time ago. I am really confunsed how I should proceed.

One morning I received a frantic phone call from a relative about a disturbing voice message she had received. Someone impersonating a law firm made allegations of her haboring my whereabouts as if I was a fugitive on the run from law enforcement. I had no idea who or what the caller was talking about since the allegation was false. Later I received a voice message not a phone call but a direct voicemail from the same company threatening me with legal action. Again I didn't know who they were or why they were calling. I called the number (833) 495-0557 for over an hour and no one answered my calls. So I still have no idea who this person is outside of the threatening messages. If anyone is familiar with this company please reply so I can properly report them. Thank you.

I got a call from 866-321-9071 telling me that they were suspending my personal information, LOL that is not such a thing. They ask for money to stop the process. Scammers

I received a call from 855-399-3024 saying her name was Theresa from a lawyers office, Jackson Capital. She said that they have been trying to reach me regarding a payday loan from 2015. They said they sent numerous letters which I never received. When I tried calling back the number just rings and the voicemail says Amanda Johnson. Please do not give these people any of your information!!

Received a call stating papers needed to be served to me at my address and that I needed to confirm my phone number and address where I could be served. I started receiving text messages from (206-401-8382 & 334-487-6942) that same day saying "The investigation is almost complete. MY NAME, it looks like a statement is needed before we close your file. Please call 833-628-0112 for extensions or to inform us of a location documentation should be sent to!" Then another text from 206-401-8358 similar to the above message but said, "Please call 833-628-0108 and reference 2021-15XX (all #s but omitting here) and make sure you don't miss your data".

I called and got no answer but then called later in the afternoon and got through to a "Arthur Bigsby" from Hudson Legal Services. He said I was served paperwork about a Chase credit card from 2012 (my BK was discharged in 2012 and this would have been hard to miss on my credit report). He said they've had my case for over 120 days and they sent me documents 6 months ago stating that they could pursue me for the full balance of the credit card, garnish wages, come after any assets, + legal fees because it hadn't been included in my original BK. I asked why they'd wait nearly 8 years to contact me. He said he didn't know but they have the case now. He knew my BK case number and the name of my attorney (all public records). He said that he can put my case on hold for 24 hours but that I'd need to call him back within 24 hours. I immediately contacted my attorney's office but couldn't schedule a call with him until early next week to verify that this credit card had indeed been included in my BK. I tried to contact Arthur Bigsby immediately (within 5 mins.) with my update and got no answer - rang and rang until the call dropped. I called again and after much ringing it rolled over to another guy. I told him the "case" number again and he told me he'd forward me to Arthur Bigsby's voicemail to let him know. After 2 rings, the call dropped. This guy had me very scared but I'm so happy I saw these posts and can recognize this is a scam!

Has anyone had emails from various people impersonating payday loans, like andrewlawfirm.paydayloanattorney@gmail.com.
they addressed me as Debtor and did not say who their client was I supposedly owe money to. Seems like a huge scam. Thanks.

Mine has been from Golden Recovery Services( 3 emails in the last week)

I have just received a voice mail from someone who claims to be a document server from Preferred Delivery phone number 833-619-0976. With regard to my late husband and a very old address where we lived together. They had my current address and cell phone number. I don't want to call the number they gave to call back within 2 hours. Is this something that is legitimate?

Hello. I am receiving a similar message from this number. They have also contact my employer - but I work remotely. Not once have I been contacted at my home. Nothing about this seems legitimate.

An automated voice spoke when a number from +1 714 868 5969 called. I called back and same voice answered but asked me to verify the name. I said the name isn’t me but I can forward a message. He gave me contact info I didn’t write down though I should have but they said “don’t know why you haven’t answered we have been calling, and to call this number back with Justin to give his info, cannot disclose any info to you”... beware as I am not sure but it sounds fraudulent.

Beware of Legal Outsourcing Services. Eddie Lopez represents himself as a LEO, Badge #701. The call back number he gives goes to a bogus law firm, Gibbs & Callahan. THIS IS A SCAM.

I got a call today twice from the same 714 area code number.... the voicemail messages were slightly different and gave a different call back numbers

I been getting harassed by a 833-628-0109 number to get to my Mom. They been sending me an automated text with my Mom’s name as if they’re reaching out to her through me. At first I would just block the numbers but they kept sending the text from different numbers. I eventually called to ask them to stop calling or texting me and the guy had the worst attitude ever and was very unprofessional. They said he wont take my number off the contact list and needed my mom to do that since she put me on that list. I had my mom call them not knowing this was a scam, to take care of what they’re trying to get ahold of her for. They continued to give her the same disgusting attitude threatening to take her to court but yet haven’t sent any actual documents to her mail. The guy demanded her to pay a 4000 credit card debit that wasn’t fixed 19 years ago. He laughed at her face over the phone and kept harassing her. I know with any real debit collector wouldn’t ever talk to anyone the way this man talked to my Mom and I. So I did my research and came across this website and it all makes sense now. I right away sent this article to my mom and told her to get ahold of her lawyer so he can handle this scam. What other possible solutions can my mom and I take to protect ourselves from this scammer? I would appreciate the help, thank you everyone.

I received a call today from an independent processor saying she was for Contra Costa county and it was from a company Keller to Phillips and she even gave me an account number to reference and call them. How do you know if it's a scam. She said she'd give me 24 hours to contact them and work it out. So I googled Keller and Phillips and whole bunch of different things came up and it led me to the FTC basically. But most of it says Phillips and Keller as scams how do I know if it's the same color in Phillips?

I'm basically confused how do I find out exactly who is real and who is fake. I did call Kellen Phillips and it was somebody who said he worked for telephone Phillips his name but it was a voicemail and it said to leave information that was it.

I've never gotten anything written from coloring Phillips so I need to know what do I need to do to figure out if this is legit or if it's a scam somebody trying to collect something isn't there.

I received a call from Mike Epstein phone number 888-786-9580 they also call from 833-628-0107 and 833-6280110 claiming that I owe a debt from 11 years ago. He said the company name is "Hudson Legal" and "Global United Assets" They also left me a voicemail saying that they are calling from "Los Angeles County Processing" regarding my arraignment. And that they will be serving me at my home address and then ended the voicemail with saying "you've been notified". I'm also receiving text messages from them. I've never received anything in writing. This debt is also not on my credit report. I'm in the processing of contacting a Consumer Protection Lawyer

I am repeatedly getting these calls from private numbers and the person keeps saying it is a lawsuit out of Oklahoma. I need to call this 866 number. Then they begin to threaten me and say they know where I live and they are taking me to jail. This is the last time they are calling. Next time will be police. This is horrible. I have no lawsuits. I called County clerk there is nothing pending.

Had 3 voicemails from 770-881-8547 claiming i have a pending civil complaint or pending legal matter against me. The person says its a Ms. Williams with no company name and i need to contact them asap. They have even contacted a family member looking for me (similar voicemail). Seems like a scam to me. I haven't returned the call.

I received a call leaving me a message like we from a law firm saying i has a warrant to appear in court and it was from the address on file and the attorney of record. And call 8774751599 with a case number. Totally fake not going call.

I have a company calling from 918-420-1596 and 855-241-1809 and claiming to be a law firm. He has spoke with me, cursed me, called me a dead beat. He has called all my family at least 5 times each and is now slandering me and my business. I cant find anything on the company so I cant file a complaint. I really need help.

They sent me this

Our firm has filed an order of location for JD pertaining to a legally required notice. Jd would need to contact the office responsible for filing the case at 866-678-0161 and refer to File 144289. Understand this is considered your legal notification and you will be processed accordingly unless further instructions are received. Thank you.
They say they’re From the law offices of issac miller

In the last week I've gotten 3 scam emails from a company called Golden Recovery Services. They are demanding payment for a payday loan. I know it's not legit because the address on the letter doesn't exist , the company doesn't exist and they're threatening me with legal action which I know collection companies can not do. How do we stop these people

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