I was very shocked to arrive home yesterday and find a collection notice in the mail from First National Collection Bureau for $175.78. The letter stated that Palisades Collection was the original collector and the original debtor was AT&T. Now, I cannot ever remember having AT&T as a service provider.
I called the listed number for First National and spoke with a Mr. Kelly Long. Very argumentative, he told me that this was for AT&T service in January 2003 and that they were a last ditch collection agency. When I told him that I did not remember having AT&T service, he told me that AT&T has merged with and acquired several others companies so it could be any number. AT&T is one of my major clients where I work, so I am well aware of their M&A history!
Mr. Long could not provide me with any other information on the alleged debt. I did tell him that I would call Palisades to get some more info and he said, "Well they will just refer you back to us." When I told him that I would need to do some more research in my files, he then told me that if I waited, the amount would go up. After almost 6 years, now it goes up???
I was also informed that First National "allegedly" had mailed me 2 previous collection letters, one on July 31 and one on Aug 6, 2008. I have never received them. I find it very hard to believe that I would have received 2 additional letters marked confidential and would not have seen and opened.
This really smelled of a scam and then I went online and did some research on this sham of a company. Apparently, I am not the only one. Bravo to you First National Collection Bureau on such a convincing scam.
However, if I did owe this, wouldn't it show up on my credit report? It doesn't!
I will be reporting this to the PA Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau.