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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 at With your help, we’re finding the bad guys and putting them out of business.



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Mary Powell
July 09, 2021
I just received a call from them. 844-793-0647/276-240-2764. They were trying to get me to pay well over $2000 for a pay day loan. Ive never had one in my life. I told them to see in writing proof of a bill and they hung up on me.
July 09, 2021
They called for my arrest and my wife said. Ok he'll get on that. They called every one who had the same last name as mine. These guys bought your old debt for pennies and will threat you with fake case numbers. Even looked it up no record of that.
July 13, 2021
I too have been getting the same kind of calls . The lady Olivia gives a case number DA614158 re a complaint and to call back 877-328-3039 and bs warned that this has been filed. Call didn’t even state my name , called 8 x since March 2021-today July 2021
July 14, 2021
I have been getting calls from an attorney about debt collection and stating they mailed me the notice. Today no letter and I do not owed any collectors. All my bills are paid on time. Problem with the calls they are bouncing off different numbers. I have been scammed and fraud out of 10,000 dollars against a company call Premium Tech Support now Premium Support. They too use numbers from all over with the latest out of Hawaii.
August 23, 2021
My brother got a bogus scam call from "Armstrong Legal Summons" asking for ME. They are claiming there isnsummkms out for me but wouldn't give any information to me about what for. Or when the courtt date was let alone where and what time. They them threatened me and told me the sheriff's in my county were coming to my house today if I didn't pay them at the very least $500 RIGHT NOW! I asked them which county the sheriff's would be coming from to get me, they said you know where and that they are infact already at my driveway. This was 3 hours ago. And just the fact that they couldn't tell me where or when was ridiculous and OBVIOUSLY a scam!!!! Don't give them ANY MONEY!!! They don't even exist on the BBB.
September 09, 2021
I just got a phone call from a David Johnson with Lucrum and Associates. He was asking about husband and if I knew him. I kept asking who he was calling about. And at first wouldn't tell me. Then kept asking why he was calling finally gave me information. I called my husband to tell him about it. He ended up calling the number just to see what all info they had on him. It's creepy with how much info they have. We will be filing a police report on this. This scam stuff is getting out of hand.
December 30, 2021
A new number 1-866-499-3326, Isley Law Firm in Southern California. Stated the phone call means they have served me and will be proceeding to take my case to district attorneys office. Wanted me to verify SS digits. Monique name given as process server, her number is unknown. The above number is what I called and they don't appear on any search I have done on line. It is listed as a common number overseas. Frustrating!!
March 25, 2022

I received a call from someone named Barbara Simpson from Total Mediation and Associates stating that I have a debt from 2016 that if I didn’t pay today that they would forward my file to the courts and I would be served and have to appear in court in 14 days. I asked who the original creditor was and they wouldn’t give me any information. The phone number is 956-758-0769. Does this sound like a scam?