Update On Bogus Collection Scams

by Alan Mansfield on November 5, 2010

While posting your experiences seems to be working to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of, this scam is still on-going, with a company calling people and saying they are from a Consumer Law Group and making threats to extort money.  As we have made clear, this group is in no way affiliated with the Consumer Law Group of California, and we have sent them cease and desist letters to stop them from using this name.  Unfortunately they appear to have vacated their San Diego address, making it difficult to get a court order against them.  So posting such experiences is very important, since the FBI is investigating this company but we need to show this is an on-going problem.  This is what you can do to help:

1.  If they say the are from a law firm or law group, ask them what their address is and who is the responsible attorney so can check them on the State Bar website.  If someone says they are a lawyer or work for a law firm and are not, that is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law — which is why you need to know the answer before talking further.

2.  Ask them to fax you or mail you the paperwork confirming the debt obligation.  If this is an alleged debt outstanding, then there would be a paper trail for it.  And you are entitled to see that paperwork to see if your signature is forged, etc.

3.  Ask them for their address and return telephone and fax number.  For some reason they won’t give this out, but you can explain you need to get back in touch with them after they send you the paperwork, particularly if you tell them you need to consult with an attorney first or that the debt is disputed — since if a debt is disputed, there are certain procedures the company must follow.  And if they say they are going to subpeona you, ask them to send a copy of the subpeona over so you can review it with an attorney. 

4.  Take detailed notes of the call, particularly what they are saying and who they are — first and last name.  Verbal harrassment and threats of criminal action are not permitted under the law, even for valid debt collection.

5.  Ask them not to call you at work, and if calls persist ask the telephone company to block calls from that number.  they may also be able to help you trace where the calls are coming from.

6.  If they have your Social Security Number, ask them where they got it from.  Most applications do not require it, and if it came from a third party who you may have dealt with, that company may have liability for having given that information out.  Plus in California, there are very strict limits about the use of SSNs. 

7. If you are in bankruptcy, call your attorney and report this information as soon as they call.  Your attorneyy may be able to get an order from the bankruptcy judge to stop such actions, since it would be a violation of the automatic stay provisions to engage in any legal action to try and collect on these alleged debts. 

8.  Report such conduct to your local District Attorney or Attorney Generals’ consumer fraud division, and refer them to this site for more information.  Certain offices are vigilant about going after such practices.

9.  Ask them to send you an email, or for an email address, so you can confirm what they are telling you over the phone. 

10.  Rather than pay them with a credit card over the phone on that call, tell them you need the above information first before responding to their demand.  Any legitimate collection group knows they need to do so, and if they refuse that can be a further violation of the law.  There are good consumer websites by groups such as the National Consumer Law Center that explain the fair Debt Collection Practices Act and what your rights are, so  you should also review those to see if their conduct has violated any of those provisions — another point you can raise to them.

Again, we wish we did not have to spend so much time on this issue and you all were not exposed to it, but we feel it important to get as much information out there as possible

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne Yard November 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

I received a phone call from this company on Thursday Nov. 18. 2010 and these people are demanding and rude and I spoke to someone named Adam claiming to be a paralegal for this attorney but wouldn’t give me a name and I asked to speak to his boss and he wouldn’t give up that info either. This is a scam and it scared me. These people are trying extort money from people and they need to be stopped. Anybody who gets a phone call from these people get as much information as you can and then hang up, if they call back and say they are going to have you arrested, tell them o.k. Just again try to get any information you can cause Alan from the Consumer Law Group of California is trying to get this to stop. Again don’t give these people any money. No credit card information and definitely not any bank information.

Juan Fredes December 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

I was also contacted by these people. The person on the other line had a middle eastern accent and was very rude and demanding. He asked me to pay $8000 over the phone. I told him “i ain’t paying shit”

Dee December 7, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Was contacted by this company, Law group of California on 12-7-2010. These people called my job, Shawn Smith and Jack brown. Was told if $ 984.00 wasn’t paid a warrant for my arrest would be issued. I was threatened and harrassed with incoming calls to my job and via cell phone. When I agreed to make payment arrangements, they requested a faxed letter with my, Debit card number, expiration date, amount of payment, copy of drivers license & signature stating I agree to resolve this debt. Then, I called the debtor asking if I have or ever had account with them. The representative stated” No, this company is a Fraud and using our name in a attempt to extort money”. Needless to say, No letter was ever faxed. These individuals are using this number 1-760-453-0184. Fax # 1-760-874-0316. Should I report this to any other agencies? Thanks!

Samantha December 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

Hello. My husband and I too have been harassed by these so called attorneys. We were scared too. They just kept threatening us that we would have to go to court and would be sued. I just wanted to post here that we called our cell phone provider to see if they could trace their phone number. They told us that the call came from Wilmington, NC. I wonder if that is where they moved. I don’t know if this will help.

Kellie Sorrell December 16, 2010 at 8:30 am

I received a message on my home phone along with repeated calls to my work phone on 12-15-2010. The caller was women with a foreign accent and told me that I was being sued in Tennessee for an unpaid debt. I repeatedly asked her what the call was about but she said she needed to transfer me to someone else. I hung up on her 4 times. She kept calling back and I finally said she could transfer me. A man again with a foreign accent told me that I was being sued. I asked him what his name was, phone number, what law firm and the details of the suit being filed. He said that he was Fernando Torres from the California Law Group. The phone he gave me was 661-737-3076. He said that a lawsuit had been filed by American Payday Loans for Violation of something, check fraud and that it was for $8000 and was being handed down today. I hung up on him again after telling him that I did not owe anyone he had the wrong person. He then called back and a coworker picked up the phone and told them I was gone for the day and would not be back until 7:30 this morning. The man proceeded to use very bad language to my coworker to include mother Fu____. I thought I better check on this more when I found your site. Let me know If you need anything else from me.

Anna Jones January 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I have received numerous phone calls from a Keith Nelson who claims to be a paralegal and a Mickel Johnson who claims to be from the Law Group of Califonia stating that I downloaded a payday loan from U.S Cash these people have all of my personal information from my s.s. number to my bank account number. How is that possible? The call sounded so serious with them claiming to prosecute me I had to check to make sure I have never received and cash advance loans but something I downloaded gave them full access to my personal information. What do I do?

Tyke Haynes January 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm

The Law firm of california has called and threatened me that i owe $8,000 and if i didnt pay it then they were gonna send me to jail.. theey asked for credit card info and banking info… i didnt give them any of it. i asked them to speeak to their boss and they wouldnt let me or give me any info about the attorney.. these guys were middle easterns and i thought something was funny about the whole thing.. so i googled the law group of california and it brought me to this site.. thanks everbody for leaving comments about this cause it had me scared at first.. but now i am releaved that this is a scam and i didnt go thru with it. somebody really needs to stop this

Shirrell January 5, 2011 at 10:08 am

This group will answer the phone sometimes as Consumer Law Group of California and sometimes as California Law Group. Their phone number is 661-727-3076. I was called at my job by a lady speaking with a foreign accent and a smart mouth. I asked for their phone number and she gave me the one I’ve listed. I blocked my cell number and called them back and told them that I will be in touch with my local District Attorney to investigate their threat of having me arrested, losing my job and being sued for $8,000 and they said if I never call them again they will never call me again and they hung up.

Heather January 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Just have to say,
I just got a call on my cell phone from a heavily accented man (could hear others in the back ground so it was obviously a call center). He said he wanted to speak to my husband. I said he wasn’t here (we always give my cell number unless for banks and such so he doesn’t get harrassed at work lol). I asked him what this was about (as I don’t bother with courtacy calls) and he said he was with the Calafornia Law Group. His name was Joeseph Mathews. I told him I would write it down. I then asked agian what it was regarding. He said it was regarding a current legal case involving my husband and fraud. I laughed at him and he said, “you think this is FUNNY!?” I chuckled and said, ” Yes, your a courtacy call I hear others in the back ground.” I hung up on him. He called back IMMEDIATELY to which I answered and immediately hung up. He calls back again, he is going to get an EX Army response to his bull S**T. I may even include some derogatory remarks about his mother…but then, I feel badly for the mother whose son has resorted to extortion and harassment. Sad, Very sad. Hope this helps. Number used to call me was 760-383-1481.
I …think I will make a call right now… :-)

Kris January 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Hi, I received a message left on my cell phone to call back to 760-383-1481, the gentleman had a very thick accent. I called back twice and finally got thru, and he said he was with the California Law Group and I had 3 counts against me and I was going to jail for stealing money from US Cash…..Never even heard of US Cash, I told him he had the wrong person and he was insistent and rude…. I told him I need to see the paperwork and he said that the State Attorney’s Office would come to my job and arrest me. I must admit, I felt scared too but I knew I didn’t owe anyone, so I told him “I’ll be waiting”…….I hope this is stopped soon.

Jason Chinsammy January 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I received a phone call from a Ferendo Torres on 1/4/2011. He told me that I took a loan from Amercian Pay Day for $1,025.38. I never took a loan out with this company I checked all my records and don’t have any records of this debt obligation. He refused to send my a copy of the agreement showing that I signed for this loan unless I faxed him a letter stating my credit card information and authorizing to pay the amount. He said he was with Law Group of California, he had a strong accent in where it was hard to understand him. I asked him for the address of the law firm and this is the address that he provided me: 4030 Chulalvisca Av Arwyine, CA 90536. I mentioned this to my sister who then googled them and found this website. We then trying to call him letting him know that we are going to report them and then he said that I need to pay $8000. The phone number they used to call me was 760-566-6089. Hope this person gets caught and hope this helps someone so that there are not in the same situation.

Kim Paulson January 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

Hi,

I just received a call from a gentleman claiming to be from California Law services of CA. It was really scary. This guy was ranting and raving about money I owed and I need an attorney and they were going to arrest me. He had a Arab accent. When I refused to play ball they asked me to talk to my supervisor. Told there was no way that was going to happen. I finally hung-up and he called back again ranting and raving. I finally read this website info to him and then told him they could subpoena me. He threw a big fit, threatened me again and hung up. I’m so happy that others made their comments. I hope I can help someone else.

Yazz January 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Hello,

I received a very condenscending voicemail message today at 6pm from a man from a law firm demanding me to call him back and if I don’t he wished me luck because I am going to need it. The call back number was 760-383-1481 and his name is Gary Williams. I returned the call back at 7:20pm and spoke with a male named Brian who described himself as a paralegal. He confirmed the last four digits of my SS# which made me think it was legit, but then he inquired if I had an attorney and if they could speak with them regarding a debt I owe. I advised him that I did not have an attorney and wanted to know the firm in which he was calling from and whom the debt is owed. I had to repeat this question four times because he would not answer. He finally advised that he was calling from The California Law Group and the debt was in regards to a Payday loan that I have not made payments on. I advised him that there must be some mistake and requested that he send me the information in writing to validate the debt, he advised that I will receive the supoena tomorrow. I advised I will review and hire an attorney if needed to dispute because I have no record of this debt. He began to advise I need to take care of it before more action is taken. I then advised that the rep that per FTC guidelines before we discuss the debt further he must send me something in writing and that I am disputing the debt until confirmed otherwise especially because he will not give me the details of the specific creditor I owed. Then he disconnected the call. This is the second time since December that I have received a call like this and I have quoted FTC guidelines each time and they appear to disconnect after I quote my rights as a consumer. I was actually researching the companies name so I could make a formal complaint and that is how I was able to locate this website. Please advise me if you need any further information or research to assist with getting these fools..I’m more than happy to assist. Thank you.

A February 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

I just received a threatening call from these people. The message stated I better call them back or else they “wish me good luck.” Scam. Computerized voice. Threatening statements. This cant be legit.

Sarah February 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I received a call just like the ones posted above today on my cell phone from 760-383-1481 from a woman with a heavy accent and she said she wished me luck and that I need to call her back immediately….well that’s what it sounded like she had an accent. Glad I decided to google the number and got this site.

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