I received a voicemail message from a company called CBCS and the called was named "Neil". I called the number stated on the voicemail (1-888-424-0255). The first attempt was unsuccessful and I had to wait about five minutes before I was disconnected during the transfer process. The second time I called I was successful and I was connected to a "Mrs. Blue". She called me by my full name and informed me that I had an outstanding balance with Verizon Wireless to the tune of $848.10. She broke dow the amount to principal (the actual debt), interest and the fee their company was charging was collection services. She then said that she could offer me the opportunity to settle the debt for a lower amount of 392.00 (I think that it was around that amount but I cannot recall because I was still in shock). She then told me that they sent a letter that went out on August 11th. I told her that I had not seen any letter and maybe it was in a pile of mail that I have yet to open. I then proceeded to tell her the history of the account and I believed that it was settled years ago.
The account was in fact from Verizon Wireless. I purchased a phone for my then girlfriend for Valentine's Day. I told her that I would pay the first three months of the bill and she wound take it over then. She agree and everything went as planned. Later, when we separated, I forgot about the phone and the account with Verizon Wireless. I was later reminded of the account when I was doing a "scrub" of my credit report and disputing old accounts. During that time, I contacted Verizon about the account(s) I had an they wrote one off because it was less than a dollar and the other one they wrote of because they could not produce the actual calls that were billed. So at that moment, I believed everything to be taken care of.
Fast forward to August 20th, my birthday, and I'm on the phone with a person that wants me to settle a debt for an account that is about 12 years old. I told Mrs. Blue that I would not be paying for anything until I saw something from Verizon Wireless stating all the calls that were related to the outstanding balance. She responded, "Do you want a bill from Verizon Wireless?" and I replied, "Not just that. I want to see all the calls for this bill during that time." She then said if you wanted to dispute the debt you can send a handwritten fax to this number (1-866-291-7413) including your account number and make it attention to Mrs. Blue. She also stated that I had 40 days to dispute and settle this debt. If not, then they would stop calling but the debt would still be in collections. I told her that she would be receiving a fax from me within 48 hours. After that, the converstaion ended politely.
Needless to say, that I was still in shock over this conversation and I promptly went to locate the letter that Mrs. Blue claim to have sent. In fact, there was a letter dated August 11 from CBCS. Now before I located the letter, I went online and did a search on both the phone number and the company's name. At the time, I only got a hit from the company's name which I had wrong as CVCS. That garnered a website that did collections but I was not sure. When I finally located the letter, I realized my mistake and did another search on CBCS. I got tons of information about the company and all the scams that were associated with it. That's when I knew something was amiss. I started to question everything about this situation. Like, why would a company pursue an account that was about 12 year old, how did they locate me when I had a totally different address at the time the account was opened and why didn't this collection show on my credit report as derogatory. Just recently, my credit score increased to 737 on my equifax report. If this is in collection, I wold assume that my score would not be climbing but remaining static or even falling. Furthermore, I purchased a home about three years ago and I am sure they would have seen this on any one of my reports and informed me to resolve it immediately. So I am totally confused but I will not be paying the debt because from my recollection it has been resolved.
It does piss me off that people will try to do something like this during this economic time of hardship for many people. I know that there should be financial responsibility of one's self but when you go through all the right channels to do the responsible thing and then you have this happen what recourse does a person have?