Is this a scam?

By jackha · 35 replies
Jun 17, 2003
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  1. TylerWright

    TylerWright TS Rookie

    I've been getting these calls too. Came across this thread while doing a little research on them These calls appear to be coming from a real "cheesy" bill collection agency. I think they buy up old delinquent accounts that other more reputable agencies haven't been able to collect, for a penny or two on the dollar. Then they see what they can get. So with these calls, they are sorta "fishing"... seeing if they can obtain some sort of response.

    Obviously, the best thing to do is just ignore them. If you answer the call personally, ask specifically who they want to talk to, and then say they have a wrong number. If they leave a message, just erase it. If you do return their call, don't use your home phone.

    Glad to see somebody wrote a letter to a senator about this outfit :)
  2. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    I'm with Stormbringer (And I am a HUGE Elric fan, by the way Storm)...I would report that number to the BBB, and don't call it. If it were that important, a live person would call and leave some information for you.
  3. Claire Voyant

    Claire Voyant TS Rookie

    I got really tired of the obnoxious messages, so I finally called the
    number from a pay phone. I told them I think they had the wrong number, and they told me the name they had. It was a person
    who had previously had my number, so the calls have stopped now! I'm glad.
  4. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Glad to see everything worked out for you.

    I'm happy I've only got a cell-phone, and it's unlisted, so it's quite seldom I get any unwanted telephonecalls.
  5. TylerWright

    TylerWright TS Rookie

    Here is some info on the source of these calls for those who may be curious. They are coming from MRS Associates ( It's a large but very sleazy bill collection agency. They act as sort of a "bill collector of last resort"... creditors turn accounts over to MRS when more reputable collection efforts have failed.

    If you do an internet search for MRS Associates, you'll find numerous complaints about them, including complaints to federal and state authorities. MRS Associates' methods seem to violate several sections of the US Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), but apparently they know how to operate right at the very edge of the law.

    There's probably not much an individual consumer can do about them, except to ignore their calls.
  6. Claire Voyant

    Claire Voyant TS Rookie

    Wow, thanks for that web site, that's really interesting. It's always something, isn't it!
  7. Jared Alcott

    Jared Alcott TS Rookie

    Re: Re: Is this a scam?

    That's probaby because a different department of the agency was handling the specific file that you owe on. Most people don't know that the FDCPA is pretty specific on what is allowed on an answering machine, designed to protect the privacy of the same people who don't pay their bills.
  8. Jared Alcott

    Jared Alcott TS Rookie

    The reason that they say an Adult needs to call back also is in keeping with the FDCPA.
  9. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Now that there is the number portability act (people can keep their # when they change providers) directories are now being assembled.
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    well, sincw this a long thread about phone credit scams, I recieved this from PD through city mail yesterday:

    New Scam

    It works like this:
    A person calling says, "This is [gives a name] and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card issued by [name bank]. Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?"
    When you say "No". The caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to [gives you your address], is that correct?"
    You say "yes" the caller continues, "I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 800 number listed on your card, 1-800-VISA, and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this control #". Then gives you a 6-digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"
    Caller then "needs to verify" you are in possession of your card. "Turn the card over. There are 19 numbers; the first 16 are your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are in possession of the card." (These are the numbers you use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card.) "Read me the 3 numbers". Then says, "That is correct. Just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" "Don't hesitate to call back if you do."
    You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. What the scam wants is the 3-digit PIN number. By the time you get your statement, you think the credit is coming, and then it's harder to actually file a fraud report. The real VISA officials reinforced that VISA will never ask for anything on the card that they already know. Police said they are taking several of these reports daily, and to tell friends, relatives and coworkers. Please pass to your family members and friends. While we are all careful, these people are getting smarter and preying on the naïve.

    Ofc. Jeffrey M. Allendorph
    Training & Intelligence
  11. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    no! no111111111111111111

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