I just got a call today at 9 AM from what stated in my caller ID as “Toll Free Call”. Figuring that it was another telemarketing call and I was starting to get tired of them (I get at least 20 to 30 different calls a day trying to sell me something I don’t need) I decided to pick it up because I was going to tell them to remove me from their lists.
Instead it was someone saying it was Harold Thomas calling for me. I don’t know any Harold Thomas. So I asked what was the purpose of the call and all they would say it was something important that they had discussed with a person of my name. It sounded like a call from a debt collector. I don’t owe anyone any money. I don’t even have a credit card bill.
So I politely and firmly told this person, “do not call me ever again and remove me from all your lists.” Their response was, “That person is in criminal trouble and this matter needs to be settled.” I’m sorry, but being that this is the year 2015, almost everyone out there knows of the FDCPA or fair debt collection practices act and that even if there were a financial responsibility on my behalf for something, it is not a crime it is actually a crime to threaten someone with criminal implications for a debt.
I informed this Harold Thomas, if that’s his real name, of the FDCPA and the fact that he just violated several parts of it. Plus there was no mailing to me claiming or proving anything about any debt owed to anyone. That is another requirement of the FDCPA.
So I firmly told this person that there obviously operating a debt collection scam. And that they were to never call my number ever again and to remove it from all their lists and do this immediately. I asked him for the name of the company he worked for and all he would say is Seventh Avenue Credit. I asked for a contact number and I also asked to speak to his boss.
He cursed at me, told me I was not an honorable person and that they would call back daily. Then he hung up on me. So, I looked them up and did a little research on them first by their phone number and then by the name Seventh Avenue Credit. I found literally hundreds of posts and complaints from people that had been lied to, harassed and even scammed into believing that they actually owed a debt when they really didn’t.
This is just unbelievable that scammers like this even exist. You know, with their time and effort could you imagine what would happen if these people chose to instead of scamming people decided to go to the other side and help people? If they would put their misguided efforts and energy into helping people and/or finding a legal job, they could accomplish so much. Instead they choose to rip people off, lie to them and try and scam them.
Later today I will be drafting up an email to report this phone number, the scammer that called me and this company Seventh Avenue credit to my state Attorney General. What to take from this:
1. If someone calls you up and threatens you with a crime for some financial matter whether or not you owe on it, that is a crime in and of itself and should be reported.
2. Make sure you and all of your phone numbers are on the federal do not call list.
3. Don’t ever give out any financial information to anyone unless you initiated the contact.
4. If a debt collection agency or someone representing themselves as such calls you.Take down their information and tell them you will call them back. Then look them up on the Internet and see if you’re dealing with a reliable company or a scam.
5. If it is a scam or if they are breaking the laws surrounding debt collection practices or even telemarketing laws be sure and report each and every instance to the authorities – this is the only way behavior like this gets fixed.
6. Research and learn about your rights and the laws surrounding telemarketing and/or debt collectors. Make sure you are very familiar with the FDCPA.
7. If you have been hurt or had your rights violated in any way look for a attorney that handles debt collectors or telemarketers on the Internet. There are many out there in every state that will take your case on a complete contingency basis (you will pay nothing out of pocket and they only take a percentage of the settlement the offender will have to pay).