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Old 08 June 2012, 06:43 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
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Icon18 How to Protect Yourself from Fake Debt Scammers

"You will be behind the bars for six months and once you go behind the bars, you will lose your job. Once you are behind the bars, you won't get a single drop of water."

That's the message received by just one of hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped Americans who authorities say have become the targets of a "phantom" debt collection scheme in which victims are bullied and threatened into paying conmen money they do not owe.
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Old 08 June 2012, 08:38 PM
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Penguin! Penguin! is offline
Join Date: 26 November 2010
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 168
Cell Phone

I have actually been contacted by these guys. They called my cell, leaving messages that there is a lawsuit pending and I need to call them back immediately. I'm not exaggerating when I say they would call me 6 times in a row, leaving a voice mail every time that was exactly the same. Then they would wait a couple of hours and call back 3 more times.
One day they called me at work and they went through the usual speech, saying there was a lawsuit against me and I needed to call them back. I asked them for a case number and was told I would need to call them back. I asked them who was suing me and was told I would need to call them back. I asked them why I never received any information and was told I would need to call them back. I asked the man for his name (Charlie Brown) and who I would need to speak to when I called back (Joe Smith). I asked Mr. Brown for the phone number and realized that the number he was calling from was the same number that I needed to call back to get my "lawsuit" information. I asked him why I would need to call this number back when he is calling me from this number. All he said was that I needed to call him back.
I did a reverse look-up for the number and stumbled across a website where you report phone scams and the number that Charlie Brown gave me was listed numerous times. I filed a report with the website and blocked the number from my phone.
I didn't call them back and they called me at work again, but I didn't answer the phone, my coworker did. They told her that they needed to speak with me regarding a pending lawsuit so she held the phone out to me and told me what they told her. I got on the phone and went off on them. I told them never to call me at work again, that I know they are scammers, and if they're not, then I would take my chances with the supposed lawsuit.
They have not tried to contact me again.
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Old 08 June 2012, 08:44 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is online now
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
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The first clue that it isn't legit? A lawsuit (almost?) always includes a physical summons, delivered by hand or registered mail.

"Your Honor, we left her a voice mail." is generally not going to cut it in court.

Gen "IANAL" Yus
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Old 08 June 2012, 08:47 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
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"Behind the bars"? I've never heard that construction before."Behind bars," yes.
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Old 08 June 2012, 09:50 PM
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DrRocket DrRocket is offline
Join Date: 03 February 2006
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 2,280
Read This!

Non-standard grammer is always a sure fire sign that a scam is afoot.
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Old 08 June 2012, 10:56 PM
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llewtrah llewtrah is offline
Join Date: 13 December 2001
Location: Chelmsford, UK
Posts: 16,363

Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Once you are behind the bars, you won't get a single drop of water.
Because the bars only serve beer and spirits?
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Old 19 June 2012, 03:07 PM
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TrishDaDish TrishDaDish is offline
Join Date: 22 February 2004
Location: Portsmouth, RI
Posts: 7,751

I like the "single drop of water" line, too. "Really? How willll you get the money then, I wonder? Especially after my family sues you for my murder?"
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