This outfit contacted my mother about a week ago. The caller stated she was Investigator "Venus Barnette" with BCN Asset Investigative Services trying to contact me about a pending civil case/matter. She gave my mother the "case number." My mother asked if this was a collection effort, and "Venus" chuckled. She told my mother that "they get asked that all the time" and "no, we're just researching this civil case."
My Mom called my immediately afterward, and I took down the information she relayed to me. Something seemed really odd about the call, as, for example, I have not lived or stayed any length of time at my mother's house in ten years. Why contact me there at all. Something didn't feel right about all of this.
I ran a search of the number my mom had on her CallerID, (866) 545-9413. The thread for this numeber of 800notes, http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-866-545-9413, was illuminating. I'm not the only one who's had this outfit call a relative, to get them worked up trying to collect a nonexistant or otherwise time-barred debt. I did find a web site for BCN Asset Investigative Service, http://bcnclaimservices.com. It seemed to indicate that they were an investigative firm. I also found a site for a company named BCN Financial, Inc., http://bcnfinancialinc.com. It *is* a collections firm. Both businesses share the same phone numbers, mailing address, and president (Darren Abrams).
The next day, I called BCN. I just wanted to satisfy my curiosity. I asked to speak with the so-called "investigator" who called my mother's home. After waiting on hold for five minutes, the operator came back on the line. "Venus" was not there, so the operator looked up the "case number." He then asked me to confirm what her said were the last four digits of my SSN. I refused to confirm. I did insist on knowing what all of this was concerning. The operator then proceeds to tell me that this call was to verify information for a pending civil suit. He related the firm of "Greman , Snyder Associates" was handing this collection account. BCN, he insisted was *NOT* a collection agency. He did imply that, if I was willing, they could help direct me toward their "Alternative Conflict Resolution" and avoid a summons. I told him the debt wasn't mine, no such debt or collection shows on my credit reports, etc. His reply was that if that was my stance I could tell it to the judge. If I chose to not show up in court, they'd get their default judgment.
Privacy laws in South Carolina only require one party of a telephone call consent to the recording of the conversation. I availed myself of that privilege.
At this point, I've filed all the necessary complaints. I doubt that I will hear another whimper out of these clowns. The only way they could collect is if I had gotten scared and paid them. I really think what they wanted was for my mother to have gotten scared and paid. Just assuming...
If anyone out there get a call from these folks trying to collect a nonexistant or an old time-barred debt, file complaints! The Charlotte BBB, the NC AG, your state's AG or consumer protection agency, and the FTC. Send them a cease contact letter (certified, return receipt req.), even though they claim to not be a collections agency. They are a collections agency.
In fact, according to the website at bcnfinincialinc.com they're branching out now into "credit repair"!! Check http://www.bcnfinancialinc.com/ourservices.html . These are the last people you'd want to "help" you. "Let me have a sheriff come serve a summons on you while we clean up that Equifax report." Gimme a break.
For some more ideas of the crud that's flowing out of this place, take a look at the postings over on http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-866-545-9413 .
Charleston, South Carolina