I've been getting calls from a fellow named Jeff, with LHR Inc. In his first message (I don't answer calls from unknown numbers), he said only that I "have to contact him" at LHR, and left some obscure file number. No mention was made as to what he wanted, let alone any mention as to whether he was trying to collect a debt, a statement that is required by federal regulation. Nor did he specify for whom he is seeking to collect.
I got another call from him, the only other so far, where he again did not state that he was trying to collect a debt, nor anything else about what he wanted, save one thing. He mentioned the name of a bank, but did not say what his relationship to the bank is.
In his messages, he is rude, condescending, and, generally, seems to be trying to pass himself off as a federal investigator, or some other authority. Of course, that part would be difficult to prove in court, but, nonetheless, LHR is failing to comply with the debt collections and practices acts by not stating that they are attempting to collect a debt.
Since I have not heard anything about a collection agency from the bank in quesiton, I must assume that LHR is working on its own behalf. It is entirely possible that this company 'skims' credit reports, looking for candidates, and then uses the information from those credit reports to solicit payments on debts that they do not have the authority to collect.
Worse, it is possible that this company is 'phishing' for identity theft victims using the above method. Almost all of a person's key information is listed on a credit report - all they need is your credit card or bank account number, and you belong to them.
Since there is no evidence provided by this company that they are legit, I think we all must assume the worst, for our own protection. Since they are clearly in violation of at least one consumer protection law, what guarantee have we, as consumers, that they are not just negligent, but aren't outright criminals?
Remember - it is never a good idea to give your bank account or credit card numbers over the phone, even to a rep of a company you trust. LHR is hardly that.
Either they are scam artists, or they broke the one sigle law that they operate under. Is it then a case of fraud, or of fraud, ladies and gentlemen? On the one end, they may be trying to steal your identity (fraud). On the other, they are misrepresenting themselves in order to trick you (fraud).
So, Mr. Jeff, with LHR: which is it?
Fulton, New York