I received a voicemail at work from a Charlie Jones- very heavy Indian accent- indicating 'the very second you receive this message, I need you or your attorney to return the call. The issue at hand is extremely time sensitive. My name is Charlie Jones and the hotline to my division is 321-221-0018. Don't disregard this msg. Now if you don't return the call and I don't hear from your attorney either, the only thing I can do is wish you good luck, as the situation unfolds, goodbye'.
Of course, upon receiving this 'urgent' message, I called the number above. The man answered the phone simply with a 'hello' and I indicated that I had received a message to call. He was unable to locate my 'file' by my name and proceeded to ask what number I received the message on. I gave him my direct work line and he was supposedly able to retrieve my file. He then proceeded to tell me my SSN and home address, at which point I asked what this was regarding. He indicated that I had defaulted on a payday loan in 2005, and that legal action was pending. I asked what company he worked for and he responded with US National Bank. When I told him I had never heard of that company, let alone deal with them, he went on to say that they represent 'many companies' and that he was simply responsible for notifying me of the pending legal action.
He then asked if I had an attorney and I said no. He told me I would need to hire an attorney and pay large fees to rectify the situation. I asked for some type of corporate address or email/website to validate that this was a legitimate call and he repeatedly told me that because they had already sent me 17 emails with confirmation of receipt and a letter to my home, that they were no longer able to provide me with any written correspondence. He advised that there was, however an option that 'might' give me the chance to settle the matter out of court. When I asked what that was, he referenced an OOCR- an out of court restitution. At this point, I was stunned to even be having this conversation, not having a clue of where this was all coming from. He put me on a 10 second hold and came back tellling me that he had advised his legal contacts of my situation and that they would authorize the OOCR if that was the route I wanted to choose. 10 seconds for that? Come on.
I continued to push him for some sort of validation, and he would simply reply that emails had been sent and he wanted to know the reason why I hadn't paid them back. He referenced that the reason could be fraud and that I would have to suffer the consequences and deal with them through my lawyer. Additionally, he indicated that my employer would be contacted and most people would not want that to happen. He again referenced my two options as being either the OOCR or legal action. When I advised that legal action seemed to be my option and asked what next steps would be involved, he kept telling me that my lawyer would receive the paperwork and go from there. I again told him that I don't have a lawyer so how was that possible. He simply repeated himself and then indicated that we had both exhausted enough time on this issue (I think he was growing tired of my endless questions). I asked for his name and number and that's when he said his name was Peter Brown, head of the department and his number was 321-221-0018- SAME number as Charlie Jones... I asked if there was an extension to reach him and he said that this was his direct line. He then said good day and disconnected.
I began researching what little company info I had and landed here- thankfully! I have since called the number back- the same voice/person answers but I get a slew of different names each time.
Then after lunch, Charlie Jones called me again and the caller ID this time displayed 786-866-2982. This time he indicated that he had his restitution supervisor, Tom, available to speak to me to try and settle the matter and tried to immediately transfer me. I advised him that I would first need some type of written documentation or address to confirm the legitimacy of the call, because it was my belief that this was indeed a scam as a result of all of my research. He told me that people who default and are trying to get out of paying things back would say that. Then I questioned the contact number I had been given and the different names that answer and he hung up on me.
Based on the information and other victims' reports I've viewed today, I will certainly be reaching out to my local attorney general's ofc., and to the various credit reporting agencies to ensure that an alert is placed on my SSN.
Hope others find this useful as well!