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Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

EyeHog
New Member

Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

So today an old friend of mine texted me and told me that she had received a phone call asking to get me a message to call a phone number and give a document number. Being totally unaware of any collections activity against me, as all accounts are current, and I bought a house in 2014 and a car a couple months ago, I couldn't resist and gave the number a call.

 

I was greeted by a very friendly gentleman who described himself as a "paralegal, just a paper pusher" for the "PS Group". He claimed his corporate arbitration firm was representing US Bank and they were seeking 25% garnishment on my gross wages. Say what? I was totally surprised. He was able to give me accurate dates, my SS number, and my current address. Essentially he claimed that an account with US Bank has gone into default and they are filing a suit against me for the amount, plus a bunch of other fees and stuff. He would not give me details on the original amount, but told me the account was turned over in 2014.

 

I quizzed him for as many details as possible, he refused to give me some, and said I would find out more from a "discovery file" in the first hearing. He also mentioned that my local process servers were unable to find me to serve me papers. They said they had a tip about my location, but hadn't been successful. I call BS on this. I am not anonymous online. Search my name, and my employer comes up on the fourth hit. Not only that, I am a home owner, own property, and have my current address on my credit report. Still, I refused to give him any information or statement about my address, phone number, employment, etc.

 

Now, here are the facts. I did indeed have an account with US Bank, which was overdrawn and ignored. It's final balance was about $1.000. It closed in 2010, and I confirmed with US Bank today that they sold it to TMT Management in 2011. They no longer have any information or interest in the debt. TMT Management is no longer in existence.

 

So, clearly the PS Group guy has nothing to do with the bank. Have they purchased the old debt, and are attempting to collect on it? He was wrong about saying the account was turned over in 2014, as the bank told me they sold it in 2011.

 

What on earth should I do from here? Contact an attorney? Call PS Group back for more info? Ignore them unless I am actually served papers? I've never dealt with anything like this before, and since 2010, I have bought cars, a house, gotten married, had kids, and have a decent credit report and history with no old debts or accounts on it at all.

 

Thank you very much for any tips or info you may be able to give me!

Message 1 of 21
20 REPLIES 20
Myrwyn
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

I call foul on this.  I had a similar situation once where they claimed a debt I had paid had not been paid.   They had accurate information but claimed I had ignored all their 'previous' attempts to reach me.  They even had my bank account information where I had paid the money from.    I told them to mail be a validation of debt which they refused to do. 

 

I ended up closing my bank account (because I realized after the call that while I didnt give them the number, I did confirm the info they had was valid).  I sent a certified letter requesting them to validate the debt which they never responded to.  They refused to give me any information (number , address etc) so I had to google them.  I never heard from them again.

 

I am sure others with more experience have better insight but they arent going to call you and tell you about a wage garnishment if they could actually do it. 

 

Hope this helps.


6/5/18 EQ-775, TU-778, EX-771
Last HP - 2/27/18 - Gardening as long as possible
Message 2 of 21
thornback
Senior Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

PS Group, huh... they're still around?

Here's an old thread for you...

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/General-Credit-Topics/Am-I-getting-scammed-by-a-fake-debt-collector/...

Read the entire thread.
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Message 3 of 21
RobertEG
Legendary Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

They have called you, and thus have established an "initial communication with the consumer."

It is now their obligation, under FDCPA 809(a), to send you a formal collection ("dunning") notice within 5 days after that initial communication.  That requirement applies even if you did not specifically request it in your converstationw with them.

 

In that dunning notice, they are required to, at a minimum, identify the current owner of the asserted debt, the amount of the asserted debt, and advise you of your right to request debt validation.

 

If you have their contact address, you can either send a request for debt validation now, or wait until you have received their dunning notice.

In that DV, you should also request the name of the original creditor.

If you send your DV request either prior to receipt of their dunning notice, or no later than 30 days after receipt of a dunning notice, it will impose an automatice cease collection bar on them, which remains in effect until they have first send the requested debt validation.

You will then have more info prior to making a decision on how to handle the asserted debt.

 

As for garnishment, they must first obtain a civil judgment from the courts before they can then file a civil action seeking garnishment or attachment of assets.  They dont yet have a judgment, so that is all bluster.

They must serve proper notice once they file a civil action seeking a judgment, so you will be advised of any civil complaint.

Message 4 of 21
Miner
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

I've had 2 different scams in the last 15 months try something very similar; the last time was a few months ago.

 

 The first time it happened, they left a message 2 days in a row that said a complaint had been filed against me and gave me a case number that doesn't match the format used by the courts in my state and that I had to call them back immediately or it would go to court.  Googling the phone number, I got multiple hits that it was a scam.   So I ignored it and never called them back and never heard anything about it again.

 

The second time it happened almost a year later and they didn't use the word "case" with the number when they left a message this time.  I guess they learned or it was a different group.  They left a message with both me and my brother's ex-wife who is a huge gossip.  When I called the number, I got an answering service that didn't identify who they were answering for (huge red flag as they are obviously using the same phone number for multiple things) and just asked me who I wanted to talk to so they could connnect me.  A real law firm (even a tiny 1 person office) would at least use an answering service that identified their office so that they sound professional. I pretty much hung up at that point and never heard back from them when I didn't talk to the nice gentleman (according to my brother's ex-wife who had no business calling the number they gave her for me and tried to pry as if she was being helpful). Googling the phone number for the this scam didn't find anything until 2 days after they called when other people starting claiming it was a scam, so it was a new number for their operation.

 

I figured both were a scam trying to get even more personal info from me to use for ID fraud or a very shady collector trying to collect on an very out of SOL fraudulent debt that had fallen off my credit reports that I orignally swore I'd never pay when they refused to delete.  If it was the later, they can't sue nor put it on my credit reports due to age so they would need other tactics to get me to pay.

 

If it was legit, they would have mailed you something.  The fact that they didn't says they don't want to commit mail fraud and add to their crimes.  Next time (if there is a next time), tell them to mail you the info and you'll review it.  If they explain they can't, then they should be the ones afraid to go in front of a judge and explain it in court.

Current FICO8: EQ:782, TU:754, EX:767 | 1x 30 day late 6yrs ago
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Message 5 of 21
Jeffhacker
New Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

Frankly, this SMELLS .  Reputable collectors follow the law; there are several things you should be aware of:  First of all, they need to send a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) letter to you within five days of the first contact.  That letter has to give you thirty days to dispute the claim.

 

Secondly, collectors generally do not tell you what they intend to do or what remedies they will take if they sue you and get a judgment (if they sue you, you have to be "served" a copy of the lawsuit - if this happens, act within the appropriate number of days and file a written "Answer" with the Court.  In that situation, I'd recommend hiring a lawyer who handles this type of situation, as it would be money well spent.

 

You might want to read up on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

 

 

Message 6 of 21
Backwoods
Senior Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

Scam scam and tripple scam. If you are lucky you may be able to collect come FDCA money. Most of these scammers have no assets or move so fast you cannot get anything from them.

Message 7 of 21
DaveInAZ
Senior Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?


@Backwoodswrote:

Scam scam and tripple scam. If you are lucky you may be able to collect come FDCA money. Most of these scammers have no assets or move so fast you cannot get anything from them.


Yes, and isn't this part highly illegal:

"So today an old friend of mine texted me and told me that she had received a phone call asking to get me a message to call a phone number and give a document number."

 

Isn't it illegal to contact anyone but the person with the (alleged) debt? My sister has terrible credit and usually has a few debt collectors chasing after her. I occasionally get collection calls for her, but they usually start with "If you are not Mary Xxxx please hang up". She still lives in Ohio where we grew up but I haven't lived since the 1980s, but I know Lexis Nexus has us connected through our parent's address.

Message 8 of 21
EyeHog
New Member

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

Thank you all. I'm not too worried about it now. At first I was freaking out about, knowing how hard I've worked to build things up to hear this come crashing down on it now. I'm not going to initiate any further contact unless I actually get a letter or papers in the mail. Like I said, I highly doubt they "tried to contact" me and couldn't.
Message 9 of 21
Sneakytiki
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is this a fake collector or is he worth some attention?

I've had debt collectors do this to me and my wife when we were rebuilding but they would only go so far as to trace back to when we lived with our parents in order to try to collect, they would only go back to previous addresses listed on our credit reports. Not sure how they found out the phone numbers but I guess they're good at skip tracing. Legitmate ones are good at finding you and will verify through mail if you ask plus give you their info, license number etc. 

 

My two scams I get are from my idiotic use of payday loans in college. So I get regular calls and sometimes emails from these two groups that go under different names. One is based in India and they always want money or "they will take me to courthouse" and then there is Mark Wallace and his crew. 

 

I think I still get calls from them because I mess with them....breathing heavily into the phone when I talk to them, pretending some ridiculous crisis is going on when talking to them, pretending I'm a nut, they'll stay on for awhile but eventually cuss you out or threaten you more. Its weird, they usually only want payment in some type of visa gift card or something.... 

 

 


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Message 10 of 21
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