Author Topic: This is a Shakedown Right?  (Read 888 times)

Jon Bon

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This is a Shakedown Right?
« on: September 16, 2020, 04:44:27 PM »
So I get a call from Notification Services, never heard of them before in my life.

They say that a civil complaint has been filed against my wife. However they are using her maiden name which changed about 10 years ago. Also they are calling on my phone number (which has been the same since then).

They give me a phone number, and a case number. I should have asked in what state/county is this so called case taking place in. I also did not give them my name, or even give away that her name has changed. I checked the county she has lived in for the past 10 years, nothing was filed.

They claimed to have sent out paper work (I'm sure to a very old address).

Should I even bother calling these guys back? This is one of those pennies on the dollar recovery things right? The debt cannot be collected in court so they just try to get people to "settle" over the phone? We JUST had our credit run to refinance and nothing came up, her credit is very good so we get the best rates. So it can't be anything of substance right? I had a similar call like this maybe 3 years ago, and it felt about the same.


jdhansen

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Re: This is a Shakedown Right?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 04:52:11 PM »
It sounds just like the call I get on a regular basis that leaves me the same voicemail.  Just ignore it as its a scam.

Anything legit would have appeared on your credit report.

FINate

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Re: This is a Shakedown Right?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 04:55:50 PM »
Yes, likely a scam. If it's for real she'll be served papers in person. Until/unless that happens, just ignore it and hang up.

draco44

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Re: This is a Shakedown Right?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 04:58:51 PM »
I checked the county she has lived in for the past 10 years, nothing was filed.

They claimed to have sent out paper work (I'm sure to a very old address).

Do not engage. This sounds super scammy. And based on your independent check that nothing is up, I'd say you can safely wait until the "paperwork" arrives (i.e. never) to take action on this.

secondcor521

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Re: This is a Shakedown Right?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 05:03:16 PM »
I'd vote that it's a scam, and to ignore them.  There may not even be any debt owed by your wife, and they're hoping that you're disorganized and that their phone call will scare you into paying something.

Legitimate debt collection companies should be able to give you details about the debt they are trying to collect on.  These details, such as the original creditor and original amount owed should be enough for your wife to ascertain whether or not the debt is valid.

They also should follow the debt collection laws.  You can google these and find out what rules they must follow.  Scam companies generally won't follow these rules; most legitimate firms will, although some may burn the edges of the law.

Scam companies will try to get you to pay with gift cards and money orders, and will be quite insistent that your wife may be thrown in jail or that the sheriff is on their way to arrest her right now.  All of that is balderdash; people are not arrested or imprisoned for failing to pay debts.  Legitimate companies should not (and generally do not) make those kinds of threats.

Even if the debt is valid, you may want to carefully consider whether or not and when to make payments.  I think there is a rule that after seven years of inactivity, a debt becomes uncollectable; making any sort of payment restarts that seven year clock.  I'd be especially careful on any old debt of your wife's that her last payment was 6 1/2 years ago or so.  (There is also the moral aspect of paying your debts even if they are uncollectable; I'll leave that topic alone.)

If there is any legitimate debt, it should also show on at least one of your wife's credit reports.  If you had all three agencies pulled recently and there are no debts of this sort, then I'd say that makes it even more likely it's a scam.

Sibley

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Re: This is a Shakedown Right?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 08:01:26 PM »
Scam. I get these periodically.

Also, the IRS and SSA don't call you. It's generally safe to assume it's a scam until you get something in writing, on paper, from the USPS.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: This is a Shakedown Right?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 11:25:14 PM »
I've had similar automated calls recently. Something about 'this is the investigations group of the ATO, we have a case against you and a warrant has been issued for your arrest, press 1 for more information'. All from what's obviously spoofed mobile numbers.

The last time I had one of those calls, I pressed 1 and then firmly told the person from 'investigations' at the other end of the line where to go. They hung up pretty quickly, and I haven't had another call since.

It's a scam.