Consumers across the country report that they’re getting telephone calls from people seeking to recover on loans or credit consumers received but where the creditors never authorized the callers to collect for them. Today, we received a call from a potential client that was receiving calls from “Northeast Litigation” using telephone number 855-515-7062. In these calls, scam artist Northeast Litigation would tell the consumer that they were calling from the “Filing Division Clerk’s Office of Tulsa County” that they had a “sealed court document scheduled for delivery tomorrow” and providing a fake “docket number.” Of course, when our potential client called the courthouse to verify this information, the Tulsa County Court Clerk found no such filing. You can listen to the recording of one of the voicemails left for the consumer here: Scam Artist Voicemail “Northeast Litigation” 855-515-7062
Luckily, our potential client was informed and did not fall for this scam. Many times these scam artists illegally access your credit reports or use public records to give them more information about you in order to try to trick you into paying them. Don’t fall for it. Demand they ONLY contact you through writing. If they won’t, tell them: 1) not to call you back, 2) that you believe they are scam artists, and 3) that you have reported them to the FTC.
Unfortunately, if they are just fly-by-night scammers, then there is little that I, or any other consumer protection attorney, can do for you. Reporting them to your local police department, the FTC, and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is your best option. You can file a complaint against the collector with the FTC here. You can also file a complaint with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office here.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued warnings to consumers to be on the alert for scam artists posing as debt collectors. It may be hard to tell the difference between a legitimate debt collector and a fake one. Very often a fake collector has your personal information, like a social security number or bank account number from your credit report.
A caller may be a scam artist if any of the following apply:
- Is seeking payment on a debt for a loan or credit you do not recognize.
- Refuses to give you a mailing address.
- Doesn’t have a website.
- Asks you for personal financial or sensitive information.
- Exerts high pressure to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have you arrested or filing a lawsuit “immediately.”
Many of our clients receiving these calls have used a “payday” loan service. We believe this industry is full of scams unfortunately.
If you suspect that the call me be a fake debt collection, do the following:
- Ask the caller for his name, company, street address, telephone number and website.
- Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you are mailed a “validation notice.”
- If a caller refuses to give you all of this information, do not pay! Paying a fake debt collector will not always make them go away. They may make up another debt to try to get more money from you.
- Stop speaking with the caller. Ask for their address to write to them.
- Demand that the caller stop contacting you by phone. By law, real debt collectors must stop calling you if you ask them in writing. If they refuse to give you their address, they’re fake!
- Do not give the caller personal financial or other sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account number, credit card, or Social Security number unless you know whom you’re dealing with.
- Contact your creditor. If the debt is legitimate – but you think the collector may not be – contact your creditor about the calls. Share the information you have about the suspicious calls and find out who, if anyone, the creditor has authorized to collect the debt.
- Call a Consumer Protection Attorney like Paramount Law