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It sounds like a scam

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  • It sounds like a scam

    Even though I haven't been overly active lately, I thought I should pass this on.

    I was talking with my oldest son yesterday, and he told me he was contacted by a company that allegedly buys contracts from companies that are having a hard time collecting what is owed on them. They, in turn, attempt to collect the unpaid balance of these contracts.

    My son told me they had (allegedly) an account of his for a cell phone from 1998 that had an unpaid balance of around $1,000.00. They would settle for half of that. The account was billed to his brother's address, but had his name on it. They threatened to have it put on his credit report if not paid. When he contacted his brother, his brother had no idea what he was talking about.

    They gave him the 2 numbers used for the cell phone account. Here's the kicker: My wife has a book that has all numbers of family and friends from probably the last 10 years or so. Many are scratched out because they were no longer valid, but you are still able to read them. Neither of these numbers appeared in that book.

    When my son asked for a copy of the contract, they could not provide one. So he asked for any other information that would indicate that either he or his brother actually had that account. They were also not able to provide that. When he asked to speak to a supervisor, there were none to speak with. So I told him to contact the big 3 credit reporting agencies, and maybe even contact the Attorney General's office.

    It sounds like someone is trying to get people to send their money in, in order to avoid having damaging information appear on their credit reports. I don't know how hard it would be for an illegitimate company to do this, but it sure sounds fishy to me. Just thought you might be interested, in case you hear of someone else with the same problem.


  • #2
    Ed, I would say you are definitely right about that being a scam. Definitely report it! And thanks for the heads up.



    • #3
      Ed, if you have the energy please fight this one, we have the same scenarios here too, and whilst they are not technically classed as a scam, the total lack of accountability and the burden of proof issue, is a joke, and until people start stamping their feet, this type of extortion will continue and do report it as a scam as I am quite sure these methods employ scamming as well


      • #4
        If the statute of limitations has run out (see link) you can send a letter notifying them as such and demanding they expunge the record from all credit reports and stop contacting. Their only recourse after this point is to sue (which they probably can't and won't do).
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning


        • #5
          this IS a scam. there are legimate collection agencies, but those legitimate ones will ALWAYS be able to provide proof of the intended collection! AlWAYS! and will do so willingly. they also operate primarily by normal mail services and will, more often than not, send that proof with the mail in the form of a bill.

          you shld ask your brother if he got this in an email or by postal services. if it was by postal service you can report this to the postal service. in the united states it is a federal offense to defraud or extort by means of the u.s. postal service and they take this quite seriously!

          if it was by email, you can bet it is a scam.



          • #6
            Yeah, I just can't see someone buying a contract without actually *recieving* the contract. If they can't provide a copy, they'd have a real hard time getting anything from me.

            Thanks for the link, Doug. According to that, the statute of limitations didn't run out yet, but *they* probably wouldn't know that!



            • #7
              Here in WA there is a branch of the Attorney General's office that is just sitting there waiting for folks to call and report such things. If it is a scam then they will work on it. If it is for real, then you will know that.

              A phone call to me like the one you reported would cause me to talk to the AG just as fast as I could look up the phone number. Remember these folks work for you the taxpayer, so get some of your tax dollars back!


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