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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

Comments

I had the same type of phone call with threats of arrest, collections, coming to my job and causing me to lose my job, etc. I researched them and they are fake!

Eddy Green. 888-718-0325. Keeps calling to say I have breached some agreement and need to make financial arrangements....I blocked him. You call the number and it asks for a case #. Scammers

I just received a call from a woman without a name from (510) 206-6932. She claimed she was calling regarding an "order of location". I asked her what was that and was she sure she had the right person. She had my name but wanted the last 4 digits of my social security number and my date of birth. I refused. She claimed that I hard a lawyer assigned to me and gave me a file # which I was supposed to use when I call a company named Liberty Proceeding at (855) 611-3959. I called the number and another unidentified woman wanted the last 4 digits of my social security number and my birth date. I refused.
I googled "order of location". It turns out it has to do with verifying the location of a child whose parent has filed for Legal Aid. under the Family Law Act 1975. I do not have any under age children nor have I ever filed for Legal Aid. In researching I found that this company, Liberty Proceedings are scammers.

I just got a call said I wrote bad checks I haven’t had Bank of America sense 2009
I filed bankruptcy for check cashing
Places i10 years ago
It’s scary because she knew my name and my last # she got mad at me because I said it was a scam said king county was picking me up and knew my partners name
When she mentioned my work well then I knew I haven’t work there sense 2012
It closed

My dad received a call from a "lawyers office " they claimed they sent paper work out in june but we never heard of the company they rep. They wanted my dad to state his full name with middle intial and full ss# which he never said . My dad kept say resend the paper work or email it to me and they guy had a reason why he couldn't. If u goin to scam people at least try harder

Received a call from a local area code, 734-375-9635. Number called on 7/23 and 7/30.Left a vm stating on 7/23, James Jones and on 7/30 this is John Michaels from MCM legal department. There are 2 seperate complaints with your name, he did state and ssn he did not state. If not contacted by noon tomorrow we will be taking legal action and sent to your appropriate state. Please call to plead your case at 844-400-6562 ext 104.

I received a call today from LCR and associates out of New York claiming that I had written a check to a payday loan service which was completely false. They used very aggressive tactics threatening tactics using personal information such as my husband's name that I was familiar with and other familiar situations personal I have not even written a check for five years prior to the dates they were claiming I didn't even have any checks in print for the year claimed. Also for the year claimed I had spent the better part of that year and the following year in the hospital in a coma caused by an accident that caused a significant traumatic brain injury. After that it took me several years to learn how to talk right eat and care for myself so it would have been impossible. I requested the documentation he had in his file to be sent to me in the mail and I would respond accordingly. At first he was really nice after being a jerk for initial contact. Then when he realized I wasn't falling for it he became aggressive and threatening again. I feel that I handle it appropriately and wouldn't give personal information or confirm personal information. Consumer beware this is completely a scam. I appreciate the post above and the suggestions in the warnings given to consumers. I appreciate the time it took. Please be careful do not pay for anything or over the phone that you did not initiate the contact. Ever this is not the first kind of calls different but also for scamming people out of money. I could see how people may fall victim to this type of fraud and crime. Be careful thanks again

I got a call that I’m getting sued by Wachovia bank from a closed overdraft account from 2009/2010. I’m sure I paid it off. It’s Hudson Legal Service 8336280113 who’s calling. They also called by father to get a hold of me since it’s an urgent matter. They gave me 24 hours to send proof of pay off. What should I do?

I received multiple calls from (512) 598-6801. A man by the name of Noah Daniels stated in his first voicemail on 7/16/2020 that he works for the offices of J and L Recovery and that a complaint was filed against me for stopping a payment(?) on November 14th, 2019. He did not state what the payment amount was, nor did he state what the payment was for. I ignored it because I know I didn’t stop any payments.

On 7/31/2020- same phone number and man called me. This time he stated the complaint was “that I allegedly authorized payments from a closed account knowingly” and that 7/31 was the deadline for a formal statement before recommending other actions being taken against me. I DID NOT HAVE ANY CLOSED FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS NOR DO I HAVE ANY NOW.

I challenged him saying that if he can’t give me exact information that he’s a scammer. All he retorted with was the information was verifiable “in office”. I asked for an address and he wouldn’t give me one. He also stated that they don’t have a website as they are an arbitration office. The only J and L Recovery that comes up is a towing company in Texas.

I HAVE BEEN GETTING CALLS FROM SOME PHANTOM COLLECTION AGENCY 361-252-9989 FOR OVER A YEAR NOW. I DON'T OWE MONEY TO ANYONE THAT IS AN UNPAID DEBT OR HAVE ANY LAWSUITS AGAINST ME. THIS FRAUDULENT AGENCY IS EVEN CALLING MY ELDERLY PARENTS AT THEIR HOME TOO. MY CREDIT IS PERFECT WITH NO OUTSTANDING DEBTS OR LATE DEBTS. I NEED TO FIND A LAWYER TO GET THEM TO STOP. I HAVE TOLD THEM TO STOP CALLING ME BUT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR OVER A YEAR BUT THIS COLLECTION AGENCY CALLS ME DAILY. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT I CAN DO?

How can you get a fake debt collector to quit calling you. The debt had been discharged last year and one attorney I have talked to indicated that they believe it is a scam. However they do have personal information like social security number etc. When I ask for location address and or letter of validation they hang up.

I’ve had several emails from
Patrick law firm indicates that I owe them debt

I live in South Carolina. I received a call posing as POS Systems telling me that I would face a court date if I did not pay up on a loan from Cash Well right away. From the information they told me they had, this would have happened 11+ years ago. I need to talk to a lawyer in the Greenville area abut this. Who can I get to talk to me?

Message I received. They also called my work

**** this is Leila Brian, I'm contacting you in regards to your case that is in the process of being filed through Harris County by law. I do have to make you aware. That one's case number ##%%. To the county. It does become a matter of public record and there is an order for your location since I was unable to reach you by phone Mister ****. I have been instructed to contact your employer and speak with your supervisor wage because it doesn't like that. It's going to be your most likely place of location. So Mister cross, you do still have the legal right to contact proceedings office says processing your case. However, you will have to speak to them before they cases 5S once the case is discharged from their office. Your legal rights will be forfeited. The telephone number provided for their office is 844-463-9839. You will also need to reference number 76947. This is considered a legal notification by telephone. You will be located after 5pm

I don't owe debt, but I've gotten four phone calls from "A.R.S." Before I blocked the number, they kept leaving messages for someone other than me, although my name is very clearly on my voicemail. Just a few minutes ago, I got notification that they just tried to call again, despite being blocked.

I just got a phone call from a company called ARF telling me that my daughter has a legal filing at the end of this week. They told me that they were a legal company and that there were allegations being levied against her. They told me that wanted to get "her side of the story." I am so pissed! I googled the phone number and this article came up. thank you for putting this out there! It is much appreciated!

I just had a call from 512-562-0559 Office of Parker saying my daughter had a debt and that i could pay for it. They called me at work and I just couldnt talk. I called them back and recording said they were busy leave a message and didnt identify who i was calling. I am concerned it is someone trying to scam us. I spoke to a man named Bill Spencer

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