Two debt collectors and one is fake
I live in California and am having an issue with a company in Ohio. I recieved about 5 phone calls from these people in a span of about 10 minutes while at work on Decemeber 4, 2012(Strike one). After “talking”( more like her bullying me) to her and asking for her to send me some information in writing, she refused stating they have in the past and aren't going to do that anymore, (strike two) they were apparently sending it an address that I hadn't lived at in almost 4 years. But somehow managed to get my new cell phone number but not my new address which I have changed with the post office every time I've moved.
After threatening to sue me and garnish my wages and seize my assets I gave in and gave her my bank account information. I have since made 3 payments of $36.30 on a debt in the amount of over $2000 that they say I owe on a credit card with a principal balance of $615 which they claim they purchased on December 30, 2011( yeah a little fishy).
This last week January, 15, 2013 I received a debt collection notice from a company I have heard before wanting to collect on the exact same debt (I verified original account numbers) I called this debt collector to find out what the deal is.
I spoke to a very nice lady who told be that they purchased this debt on January 31, 2012 and that even with their fees and everything the debt I owed to them was only $865, that the debt NEVER reached anywhere near $2000. So I told her that I wanted to figure out what is going on before I committed to making payments to them and she was perfectly ok with that, unlike the extremely rude woman I talked to from "Smith & Travis, LTD” I searched this company on Google and found NOTHING on this company , everyone can be found on Google. (strike three).
I have since contacted the better business bureau and had them try to investigate this company as possibly fraudulent. I was emailed back with them stating that they have no record of this business doing business in the city of Cincinnati, and no official record of them being registered with Ohio secretary of state. BIG RED FLAG!
That was the final straw. Tonight I called and put a stop payment on my account(which is another fishy thing, they name of the company that was debiting from my account says “credit one Visa” shouldn't it say “Smith & Travis, LTD" since they supposedly own the debt now not Credit one bank?)
I’m going to my sheriff department and filing a fraud investigation on them. I am not disputing that I owe the on this credit card, I am disputing that I owe that amount and that i owe it "Smith & Travis, LTD" Im not sure if I am even in the direction. If my gut feeling on this company being fraudulent is false, any help would be appreciated.
P.S. they only company reporting on my credit report in Company #2, the company that I HAVE heard of before.
Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:
The tip off was when the first company threatened to garnish your wages and seize your assets. Those threats are illegal and any legitimate debt collector should know that.
You're probably out the money you paid, though it wouldn't hurt to talk with your bank and find out if they can trace who the payments actually went to.
Unfortunately there a lot of debt collection scams occurring these days.
You may also want to report this to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at consumerfinance.gov.