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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.

 

408 Comments

dizzy52
September 04, 2017
I have been getting several emails from scammers claiming to be from a payday loan company saying that if I do not pay the settlement money that they say I owe to them that they are going to file a lawsuit against me. They claim that they have all of my personal information on file and that I applied for a payday loan with their company and I refused to pay the loan back in full. These people are scammers and they need to be stopped ASAP!!!!
Lynn
September 07, 2017
A company in charlotte claiming to be capital reassurance keeps calling saying that there is a claim against me and wheb i xalled back to see what this was about she said when she calls me back she will know.i laughed they keep calling i block the number not working so i had no choice to report it
Cheryl
September 28, 2017

In reply to by Lynn

I just got this same exact call...from 920)335-7123.
Jarrodc08
October 10, 2017

In reply to by Cheryl

I have been getting the same calls from a 320# claiming they are from Capital Reassurance about a payday loan from 2012 and that they are going to send every over to the county for garnishment. When I asked for validation they will not give me anything.
James dede 12
April 14, 2020

In reply to by Jarrodc08

I am getting scammed now by an andree law firm i didnt give them no info and they didnt give me no info now they email me every day for the past 2 weeks about a summons and arrest. Warrant and payment is due now and im being sued for a so called pay day loan and there being nice and then nasty and there still emailing me they gave me a fake so i am getting ready to report them
delicious 77
October 08, 2017

In reply to by Lynn

I got the same call two days ago, and the caller got user because I asked for something is writing and asked to speak to a manager. She said she is in charge of my account and make the decision and I can’t speak to anyone else. So I hang up 920-335-7123
Annoyed...
November 13, 2017

In reply to by Lynn

I got a the same call too... Capital Reassurance 682#.
michel
March 28, 2018

In reply to by Annoyed...

this place just called me saying I owed from a "loan" in 2012 which I said I never took out a loan. he was very rude and used foul language. then said, ok maam well see you at your job when we service your judgement
Aleigho99
November 14, 2017

In reply to by Lynn

I am getting them from Hollywood Florida. Started calling my daughter and son in law. Son n law acted like an attorney and they got so flustered with him. Capital reassurance with just a few employees
Crotalus
September 07, 2017
Even when you are contacted for a legitimate bill, it still helps to know your rights. In may case as a veteran, ambulance services act like scum bags frequently and flaunt the consumer debt protect laws. I had an ambulance ride in January 2012. CO A's bill was rejected by VA the next month, but neither one told me. October 2012 I received a notice of collection (note: never billed by ambulance co). I immediately wrote a request for debt verification, and included my complaint about not receiving a bill prior to collection. I never received a reply. August of 2013 I discovered via a record check that a new collection agency had put a collection note on all my consumer reports, with NO NOTICE to me. I contacted the collection agency and had to bully (all collection agencies have a nasty assumption they are always right) them for over a month, via phone and email to get them to remove everything from my consumer reports. At the same time I had also filed a lengthy complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In the end, the ambulance company never received a dime of it's $1,063 that VA owed them, and that I personally confirmed that VA was willing to pay Co A, if VA was correctly billed. K A R M A =^..^= for bad billing practices
myday
September 07, 2017
So tired of this number 844-369-3851 calling and harassing us. It is not funny any,pre. Get them to stop and put them in jail Should not happen
MDNRMOM
September 08, 2017
I received a call from 203-514-4150 indicating there was an IRS lawsuit pending against me and that I needed to contact a lawyer and respond to file IR##### immediately.
FedUPwithscamartists
September 08, 2017
On September 6th I received a call from 866-986-4585, and the caller claimed that they represented a law firm that was going to sue me if I didn't pay $5000 for an unpaid payday loan. I've never taken out payday loan, so I was immediately suspicious. However, they knew my name, birthdate, old address and the name of my old employer. When I tried to explain to the caller that I had no knowledge of the debt he immediately became irate and threatened that if I didn't make arrangements to pay I was going to be sued, and that they would embarrass me by serving me at my place of business. I asked for the name of the caller, business name, and mailing address, and he said that legally he didn't have to provide that information to me and then he hung up the phone. I immediately filed a complaint with the FTC. The next day my HR manager received a call from the same phone number. The caller told my HR manager that they represented a law firm that was trying to serve me and that they wanted to serve me at my residence so that they wouldn't embarrass me at work. The caller then asked for my personal contact information (home phone number and the address of my residence) so that they could avoid embarrassing me. When my HR manager said that he wouldn't provide that information the caller cursed and hung up the phone. My HR manager immediately contacted me and expressed concern for my safety. I filed another complaint with the FTC. Then today at work received 3 calls within 5 minutes, which showed up on my caller ID as from an "unknown", "unlisted", and "out of area caller." I didn't answer, and they never left a voicemail message. I'll keep filing complaints until the calls stop. It is highly annoying and extremely stressful, especially when you know for certain that you don't have any unpaid debts.
Skeptic
September 09, 2017
In particular, these scammers like to clam they are bill collectors for the IRS.
SunnyCA2017
September 13, 2017
I was contacted recently on arbritration notice about a past due account with ACE Cash Express. From Orange County, CA. I was told that theres an investigation on my account for fraudulant checks are being written under my name in coordinance with payments being made to ACE Cash Express. if no arrangements were to be made id be served at court and be served by court of law. I was given an option to pay total amount due in form of payments $515 / 12 months or settlement of $3148.24 and that a decision must be made within 24hrs or else my papers will be sent to the court in Orange County, CA. he said he would call me back to make arrangements. i called the number back and it had an answering service mailbox. The numbers that contacted me claiming to be on behalf of Orange County, CA. One phone number was in NY and one was in Los Angeles. Something didn't add up. I finally contacted ACE Express in reference to this call and was told that there was no Arbitrary action on my acct and that ACE does not take legal action nor get court legal action for me to make payments. I haven't paid the fees but I am not sure what to do? Who are these individuals? And do they have a right to have my SSN and information and order an investigation and take legal action on my acct and against my #SSN. Threaten to ruin my credit an take legal form preventing me from any or all financial institutions and banks if I don't make payment arrangements with them? Is this legal? Please help. Contact info are as Follows: Alexander Cooper claiming to be a representative of Orange County Arbitrary sector. Phone: 1-213-325-6759. (Los Angeles number) Another call from: Thomas Evcheck (sp) 1-716-601-6231 (NY number)
joeann
September 13, 2017
my son has been getting numerous calls daily stating numerous financial problems with IRS and other creditors and demanding immediate response. We have a joint business and the phone is in my name. He has to answer the phone because of the business, and it is creating a lot of stress on him. I just entered our phone numbers on the no call list. I hope that will help this situation I will get actual phone numbers and information from him and post. This is not only annoying but stressful even though the information being mentioned is false.
TLYNN
September 13, 2017
Both my husband and I are both getting calls from a Christine White at 844-868-8436 stating that a lawsuit is being filed under my husbands name with the county that we are in and under the ss number. She goes on to say that we need to call back to stop the action from happening. The call ends with CONSIDER YOURSELF SERVED. Neither one of us are calling back. You don't threaten people over the phone and why would someone be called to be served. The point to serve someone I thought was to be served personally and in a way that the person is surprised at home or work.
JDove
September 13, 2017
Twice I have gotten calls from Capital Reassurance from a Providence Rhode Island number (401)729-0708 instructing me to call their mediation department regarding a claim pending against me...the message is garbled and doesn't say my name...instructs me to reference number 863308...I called and got no answer
Ddub
September 14, 2017
I also have gotten two calls from Capital Reassurance calling from 401-729-0708 saying that they are calling regarding a case "in which you are named as a respondent." They never say my name just give a reference number. I don't call numbers I don't know and don't answer calls from anyone who is not on my contact list so decided to look up this Capital Reassurance on the Internet to see what it was and saw the post from JDove...I am ignoring everything. I think it is very suspect that #1 they don't mention your name, and #2 if it was that important why are they calling over the phone. I would think that they would send a legitimate letter or have me served.
YTNygaard
September 14, 2017
877-589-3077 calls me, says they are an attorney but won't provide their name, company name or where they practice. They use my maiden name and last four of my ssn to prove they're "official". They say I owe on an "old credit card", which I don't, and demand payment by phone. They offer to accept a credit card with the security code on back or my banks routing number so they can deduct monthly payments. They say the balance is $10,000 but they'll drop it to $7,000 (how nice!) if I pay today. They won't provide the name of the card they're calling about or the address the statements were sent to. When I asked for an itemize statement they said I should get an attorney because they're sending me to jail. They also say the officer will come arrest me at my job or home. They won't confirm my work or home address and then they tell me good luck and hang up. This happens every few months and multiple times within the week. I used to ignore their calls and block their number but now they use a different number and they are harassing me. I finally reported them today, not just for myself but for others who may not be so familiar with these types of scammers. I don't want a young person or a senior to be harassed. It can be frightening if you don't know better.
JustMe
December 05, 2017

In reply to by YTNygaard

They certainly cannot arrest you for unpaid debt. Keep track of every phone call you get from them and turn them in for illegal debt collection practices, you can also sue for damages.
Just Me
September 18, 2017
I received a call from a Sherry O'Neal with ncr 3 days from 918-340-6497 with a call back number of 855-891-7009 ext 118 and my reference number 58857in a row. I don't answer my phone and let it go to voice mail and the message that was left by Sherry O'Neal was 3 different ladies. She stated that she noticed I had a service date coming up and they would be servicing me at my house and notifying my employer. I went to Google to search the first number and it was associated with a scam...I then looked up the call back and scam...when will these people be shut down. Enough is enough....so tired of the scam crap!
CBP
September 29, 2017

In reply to by Just Me

I also received a call from this lady. They call from a local number (I'm in California) and when I ask where she's located she says Georgia. She really scared me and has had me stressed all week. I thought it was a scam, but was still scared. Not sure how they got my information.
Cg
September 18, 2017
I have had several phone calls from a company claiming to be legitimate trying to collect a debt from a payday loan from 2012 using an address I moved out of in 2008 with a bank account that I closed in 2005. I explain to them that I never had any payday loans and they threatened they were going to garnish my wages which is against Pennsylvania State Law. Also I told them under the Pennsylvania Fair Debt Act that all correspondence must be done through mail. When they demanded my address I told them they get paid to find it. The call still kept coming in until I gave them a dose of their own medicine. To finally get rid of them I had to use a prank phone calling app and send them a hundred thousand phone calls a day for 2 weeks. According to our local FBI office it was a complete scam
DMiller
September 19, 2017
I received a call yesterday on my cell phone and today on my work phone from a California number (559-573-8875). The voicemail messages said the caller was John Burrell from the legal division of Capital Reassurance. They threatened to serve my employer, garnish my wages, etc., regarding two "pending allegations" against me. I was instructed to call (667) 206-1863. I have no pending allegations against me and will NOT be calling. These calls are so annoying.
Annoyed...
November 13, 2017

In reply to by DMiller

I received a call from this company "Capital Reassurance" too. They called me Friday on my work phone as well as my cell phone. Left a message stating they had two pending allegations against me, just like they did yourself DMiller. I was told by a freind of mine not to call them back because it was a scam. Well today (Monday) I just received the same call from this company again, stating this was my final notification and they would actively persue me at my work and home. I called them back and they said I had taken out a payday loan back in 2012 and I failed to repay it. I HAVE NEVER TAKEN OUT A PAY DAY LOAN in my life... I just hung up on them. These calls are so aggravating. They try and intimidate and scare people into paying for something they did not do.
shan
September 21, 2017
I have suddenly received phone calls from a random number asking to call back several times a day. They do not say who they are and they called my boyfriend and his parents at their numbers. We are not linked in any way and live in separate houses. I have never used him as a reference and I do not have his parents number so how in the world would a legitimate company get their info and be calling about both of us since we have nothing together? It is very disturbing. They call from 916-596-3751 and they say to call 877-350-2917. Google did not bring up any companies with those numbers.
Circa
November 08, 2017

In reply to by shan

I've been receiving calls from that 877 number as well. Are they asking to talk about someone else ? In the voicemail they said I have some relation to someone they have questions about and they say they are from GPO
baldguy
November 21, 2017

In reply to by shan

Called me looking for information on a family member. They were vague and evasive about who they are. I couldn't find any information about them on the internet so I gave them nothing at all and insisted that they never call me again.
Justin
September 21, 2017
Got a call from a Blocked number from a "Legal Courier in Maricopa County" "Dave" stating they had legal documents to serve me with that matched my name and SS# They will serve me at 3-5pm at my home or workplace in front of security/supervisor. If they do not get a signature they will consider it a refusal and proceedings will continue without me. Also the case number they provided is searchable on public records and did not match anything. The number they left is 8773503356
Leigh
December 14, 2017

In reply to by Justin

Received voicemail same wording as Justin indicates above. Only it was from 877-350-5011.
TheRudeAbides
July 18, 2018

In reply to by Justin

I got a similar call today. Almost identical wording from a lady named Aubrey. I called the number she left and they wanted payment arrangements on a bank account from 2009 or else they would serve me. Seeing how the statute of limitations is 6 years in Arizona I told him to go ahead.
Angela
August 15, 2018

In reply to by Justin

I just got that same phone call on my voice mail.. From a Dave Wilson posing as an independent processor... exact same wording... he had my old married name from 10 years ago... I couldn't trace him cause he had a restricted number...
Jazzy
June 29, 2020

In reply to by Justin

I also received a phone call from Dave today via voice message stating that there’s a claim against me here’s the number ‭+1 (716) 256-1337‬... This kind of stuff has to stop
Jesse
August 24, 2020

In reply to by Jazzy

Got a call from the same individual, same number. Still scamming it seems.
slp
September 22, 2021

In reply to by Justin

I got the same call did they come by? I have no idea what they are talking about.
thisiscrazy
September 21, 2017
I received a call from 518-509-1006 (NY Number and I live in Florida) (under my married name, which I have been divorced for over 4 years now) telling me that there is a pending judgment against me (in a county that I don't live in) and they need to get a hold of me (left the last 4 of my social on my voicemail)within 48 hours, which they called the day before and said the same thing. They called my ex-husband looking for me as well and actually told him that it was for a Payday loan and bad checks and asked him how can they get a hold of me. I have filed a complaint and contacted a lawyer since this is illegal. This is so stressful and time consuming and this did not start until the data breach with Equifax.
Kelz
September 21, 2017
Got a call from Paige Wilson, who first called from a 316 number then from an 844 number. I am pretty sure its a scam. Some unpaid payday loan for an amount I never borrowed, with a company I never borrowed from. They can't provide me with anything written except court papers. I said ok, send me that. What court, she had no answer for that except a compliance office would have that information. She said the info she has is from an application. The message she left claims they sent registered mail, another lie.
Mrs.Greene
September 22, 2017
I received a call today from a Chris, from the number 619-354-4821, National Document Services, asking if I would be home tomorrow because 2 uniformed officers would be serving me with legal papers. I am an 82-year-old senior, so of course, I was alarmed. I was given the number to a law firm,"Leonard Levy and Associates"415-226-9265 and a case number. The woman I spoke to, her extension was 119. Told me this was a Legacy Visa/First National, opened in 2007, last paid in 2008. Past any statute of limitation in Florida. However, this person told me that I had made some type of payment deal with them in December 2014, which reactivated this old, alleged debt. I can assure you that this is a lie. I never made any payments or negotiations with any collection agency or the creditor. This is a fabricated story from some dishonest collector. This woman at extension 119 said she was putting my "lawsuit" on hold for 24 hours so I could get my "ducks in a row", call Legacy Visa and find out who made a payment to them in December 2014 that re-activated this debt. That date has something to do with my credit report, it's very specific, so I think this company has my data from the Equifax breach. I, I have every bill on record I have paid in 2014, no collection agency or Legacy Visa alleged debt was paid. I feel this is a scam that needs to be looked into. They are claiming they are going to sue me for $1700+
Bailey
September 26, 2017

In reply to by Mrs.Greene

I got the same call it's all fake don't worry. My father is a police officer, this is the new scam going around. And yes they got all your info from Equifax. Just them saying your name address etc sounds scary. Think about it, When someone really breaks the law enough to get arrested . Who calls to give you a heads up that the police are coming,?? And if you owed any monies to IRS you would receive a letter. They never ever call. It says it in their website. Call the phone company to get the number that they called from blocked. Call the FTC and make a complaint . Bailey
chip
September 22, 2017
Got a voicemail yesterday from a "Jennifer Smith" claiming to be an independent processor out of Kent County. She stated that she would be arriving at my residence or place of employment between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 on Sept. 22 to serve me papers. If I wasn't there it would be a "refusal to sign" and I would miss my court date. Then today, I got a call from a restricted number, I answered and again it was Jennifer Smith. Told her she had the wrong number. She then left a voicemail again stating the same as before, that she would be serving me papers today. On both voicemails she left the same call back number, 877-350-3356. Frustrating and annoying but I know I don't owe anyone money and I'm not in any legal trouble. Probably the most persistent fake collector I've encountered. Seems like others are having the same issue, strange that its all the same time frame.
SunnyCA2017
September 23, 2017
I was contacted recently on arbritration notice about a past due account with ACE Cash Express. From Orange County, CA. I was told that theres an investigation on my account for fraudulant checks are being written under my name in coordinance with payments being made to ACE Cash Express. if no arrangements were to be made id be served at court and be served by court of law. I was given an option to pay total amount due in form of payments $515 / 12 months or settlement of $3148.24 and that a decision must be made within 24hrs or else my papers will be sent to the court in Orange County, CA. he said he would call me back to make arrangements. i called the number back and it had an answering service mailbox. The numbers that contacted me claiming to be on behalf of Orange County, CA. One phone number was in NY and one was in Los Angeles. Something didn't add up. I finally contacted ACE Express in reference to this call and was told that there was no Arbitrary action on my acct and that ACE does not take legal action nor get court legal action for me to make payments. I haven't paid the fees but I am not sure what to do? Who are these individuals? And do they have a right to have my SSN and information and order an investigation and take legal action on my acct and against my #SSN. Threaten to ruin my credit an take legal form preventing me from any or all financial institutions and banks if I don't make payment arrangements with them? Is this legal? Please help. Contact info are as Follows: Alexander Cooper claiming to be a representative of Orange County Arbitrary sector. Phone: 1-213-325-6759. (Los Angeles number) Another call from: Thomas Evcheck (sp) 1-716-601-6231 (NY number) My bank also received debts from Automation Solutions North America that said I pre-Authorized a debt from my bank account. Their phone number was a Google phone number? 508-919-0917 Looked on Google and the Name is an automated manufacturing company in Wisconsin that produces platforms of some sort. My bank said this number under Google listed them as Automation Solutions North America. I'm so tired of the scams. How are people finding access to my banking acct information and SSN? I feel so violated. Is there a better way to safeguard my info?
FTC Staff
September 26, 2017

In reply to by SunnyCA2017

If someone took money from your bank account without your permission, talk with people at your bank.

Susan
November 09, 2017

In reply to by SunnyCA2017

For everyone's information, payday loan companies never send people to collections if they don't pay their payday loan. I found this out from Moneytree, Cash America and ACE Payday Loans. There is no such a company as ACE Cash Express. These scammers will normally combine several company names into one. I have been blocking these calls. If i get an email, I tell them to send me copies of the documents that I "signed". I also read them the riot act and tell them that I know it's a scam. Also check your credit report. If a debt was turned over to collections, this information would appear on your credit report. Don't fall for their garbage. That's all it is. Garbage.
Angry!!
September 25, 2017
I've been contacted by 2 different phone numbers. They say I owe over 2000.00 in pay day loans!!! They even called my job!!
Cheryl
September 28, 2017
I've received a call from capital reassurance a guy named Logan Johnson...had my very old last name and old address and last 4 of my ssn...said I have a claim against me for a online payday loan threw web loan (never heard of them) and if I don't pay the reduced amount offered I will be going to court. Couldn't tell me the original loan date just that statue of limitation is ending in Dec this year but it took so long because it's been being investigated etc since 2012 and they are planning to pursue me fully if I don't settle. I have fell for this before twice even though I knew I never took loans out online. I told him ok I would rather go talk to a judge because I didn't take any online loan out
G
October 23, 2017

In reply to by Cheryl

I just received the exact same phone call from the same man, same company. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he transferred me to Laura. I told her I would research the "loan" in dispute and would get back to her. My first web search brought me to this page. Have you been contacted since then Cheryl?
I WANT JUSTICE!!
October 02, 2017
RRG, supposedly stands for Robert and Robert Group as quoted by "Ms. Rivers" who called me this morning said that I owe $ to a payday loan from years ago? I asked her to send me correspondence, and she kept on telling her imaginary person my last four digits of my ss# to send the court a disposition. Last month someone else called my stepmom and brother telling them that I was going to prison for fraud!They called from 860-506-7538. I pray they get what they deserve for preying on people.
MOBuckeyefan
October 13, 2017

In reply to by I WANT JUSTICE!!

I got a call from the same lady that said and did the very same thing to me! Evidently, they also called some of my family members. She was rude and belligerent on the phone. The original call came from a 614.347.9132 which left a voicemail to call 860.506.7538. Both numbers answer to RRG Consulting and we’re threatening court action.