Debt Collectors Threatening a Lawsuit Over the Phone, Spoofing, and Other Telephone Scams
Has this happened to you?
One day I monitored a familiar call from a heavily accented man claiming I needed "to pay a debt to avoid a lawsuit. At that point I picked up the phone...
and promptly hung up. Not my first time with this scam.
I welcome considerate comments, the sharing of unfortunate consequences, or that you learned something important from this page, but...
WARNING to the Scammers: Want to post harassing comments or links here? Don't even try it.
They WILL NOT appear here since I moderate all comments and feedback.
P.S. Find another job with some dignity.
You do know about Karma, don't you?
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
The First Call from A Debt Collector
My daughter was the first in the family to get this call. She was still a young adult and only had a few debts. Like many children under 25 she still lived at home with us. Her debts included a cell phone, car payment, a small limit credit card, and school loan.
One day she answered the phone to a very pleasant young man with an accent who said she was late on her payment...
It wasn't long before the caller turned nasty and said she must pay right now over the phone or the police would knock on her door and she would be arrested. They also knew where she worked and might have her arrested there in front of her co-workers and management.
NEVER EVER give or confirm your personal information over the phone...
... with someone unless you already do
business with them.
* Most, if not all companies already have this information.
* The companies with which you do legitimate business
will only have you confirm your name and address.
~ and ~
for banking or financial accounts they may ask you for
your mother's maiden name because you have already
provided this, or the last 4 digits of your social security
Fake Debt Collection Call Recorded - The beginning of my call sounds like this video, word for word
NEVER pay someone over the phone who has called YOU! Authentic agencies will NOT ask you to purchase Gift Cards!!
Valid collection agencies will send you a letter to collect payment. Any info they need to do this will be provided by the company who hired them to obtain payment. They have no need to know your confidential information beyond your name, address, amount owed, and the company to which payment is due.
Eeeeek! Time to check it out
Of course, she freaked out and hung up. Luckily, she lives in my house. Since I am a skeptic well trained in email phishing, I quickly went online to check out if this was a scam and searched for the phone number, too.
BINGO! Well documented scam artist tactic. These phony debt collectors use lots of names and phone numbers. Although most have foreign accents, they all use American-sounding names and may claim to be lawyers, police officers or investigators, and surprisingly, debt collectors. They also use many, many, numbers and claim to be calling from many locations within the U.S.
The caller called back several times.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Received a Fake Debt Collector Call like this? Report it!
Go to Internet Crime Complaint Center by clicking on the link below.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center, also known as IC3, is a partnership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I) and the
White Collar Crime Center.
Report Phone Scams and Internet Crimes Here. It's Easy!
- Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Home
The IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant. We can best process your complaint if we receive accurate and complete information from you. Therefore, we request...
Has a Phony Debt Collector ever called you? These are the responses from some visitors shared with permission.
What happened? Tell us in the guestbook below.
anonymous: Got a new phone number and within 2 weeks began getting robot calls threatening legal action if I did not pay up. The message was intended for the previous owner of the number. I called the number given to tell them they had the wrong number and to stop calling. The "investigator" insisted I give him my personal info. I refused and hung up. The calls started back this AM. I called the number again, a female voice answered "attorney's office". I laughed, told her only a scammer would answer the phone that way, demanded they stop calling and hung up. The calls continue at least until I put an android app on my phone to hang up on black listed numbers.
anonymous: Two calls came from me at my in-laws house this morning- within 30 mins of each other and they also called my mother's cell phone. The phone number they gave was 855-699-9749. They left a case number too. I called the number, and when they answered, all they said was "investigations." Since they did not give a company name, I assumed it was a scam of some sort. I told them that no one by that name lived at the address associated with the phone number (my in-laws)- which is true. I googled the number and can't find any information on it. I'm pretty sure it's another lawsuit scam.
creditsabre: You did the right thing! When confronted by this situation, you send a debt collector a debt validation letter denying and disputing the credit card debt and asking for validation. They will not be able to send you any documents proving the debt they claim because they don't have it in the first place. Never submit to their demands and never be afraid to deny or dispute the debt.
anonymous: yes - an individual that lives in my home is currently being harassed by the lawsuit scam. We were tricked at first and paid about $400. Now we are being called for more money and threatening that a warrant for her arrest will be issued if she doesn't pay up. The current number calling is (8770 631-3902
How many times have Fake Debt Collectors called you?
How many times has a Fake Debt Collector call you?
Want to Protect Yourself Against Phone Scammers? This is...
Tips to Avoid being Taken
- Use a Answering Machine to Monitor (listen to) your Calls.
- Only pick if for people you know or companies with which you do business.
Most Scammers Thieves will hang up. Not a single one will leave a message. They want to use their nefarious skills to panic, threaten, or cajole, you into paying them. It's that simple.
Next Best Option ~or~ for Cell Phones
- Add Caller ID to your phone service
- Only answer calls from numbers you recognize.
If you are not sure, and you answer a call from a Scammer
- When a caller tries one of the examples given on this page, hang up and note the phone number from the Caller ID
Report the call referencing the caller's phone number, and other information given if possible to:
Internet Crime Complaint Center @ www.ic3.gov, where you can report the incident by filling out a form.
(The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I) and The White Collar Crime Center.)
Warning: These are not the only Scams!
Scammers come up with new ideas all the time to try to get your money or personal information (Phishing), and as such will try to do financial harm to you for their profit.
The Most Prevalent Scams: Spoof Calls Like This
And Here is How the Scammers Do it...
Spoof calls involve using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling using random phone numbers in your area to fool you into thinking you are answering a local call. Quite often the robotic recording directs you to call another number, usually an 800 number. These call use your area code, prefix, and even a legitimate business phone number like the scam involving Apple like the article shown below.
Apple Spoof Scam is National, but this is from my TV Local Station in Rochester, NY
- Eastview Apple store warns of scam | WHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – We have a consumer alert about a new scam hoping to trick Apple customers. Scam artists are pretending to be calling from local Apple stores. The Apple store at Eastview Mall is now warning customers.Apple is aware that some cust...
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Beth Webster-Duerr