I don't have a phone of my own and use my friend's phone at times. Today, I recieved a call out the blue from 1-866-679-9649. I did not recognize the number and when I answered it was a Robocall (which are illegal to use per FTC) and the automatic system told me to wait. The automatic answering system NEVER IDENTIFIED WHO WAS CALLING (also another violation of the FTC) and I held and then a man picked up the phone and in a very agressive manner did not identify himself and immediately started asking was I ___.
I told him he had called "ME" and to identify himself and his company. He refused and after asking him several times to identify himself and his company he would not and stated he was calling about a discount for St. Vincent's hospital and had I accepted.
I have never been to St. Vincents and did not know what the heck he was talking about and told him I have been the victim of identity theft as several years back my wallet was stolen and my credit cards were all maxed out and my ID and my social were both taken. I had to file a police report and place fraud alerts on all my credit files which remain to this day as I renew them.
He didn't care and continued to badger me until I hung up.
I called the 1-866 number he had called from back and another man picked up in a very aggressive manner and immediately started to ask was I ____. I told him they had called a cell phone and to stop calling and he said they didn't care and it wasn't there problem and I asked for the name of the company and he stated he would not give me the name of the company (AGAIN ANOTHER VIOLATION OF FTC) unless I told him who I was even though in their system he could see my name, etc. because he kept stating it. Finally he blurted out he was with Stephens and Michaels Attorneys at Law and then continued to tell me to verify I was the person. I refused. It's not my phone. It isn't in my name.
At that point I told him I needed to send a Cease and Desist Letter and asked him for his address and he refused to give me anymore information and the call was concluded.
I had to go online and google the number and it comes back to Stephens and Michaels Associates. However, there website is not easy to find as it has another site name and something strange happens. When you click on the link to go to the website you are routed through a different system momentarily. I wonder do they have something set up to capture IP addresses. It happens really quick. It says VGlink for about a second and it hesitates and then the actual site comes up.
The two sites for them (or one site) because one reroutes to another site are:
http://www.smacollects.com/ and http://stephensandmichaels.com/
I reviewed the website but no address is listed. No fax machine is listed. For some reason the agent would not give me the address either. All I wanted was a mailing address to get the Cease and Desist Letter to them but I can't find it.
This is the type of thing Shady companies do. I tried to get in touch with St. Vincent but they are out of business in New York. It should be illegal for a company to fail to provide a mailing address so that people can send correspondence. It probably is. The thing is the FTC doesn't move against companies like this until many people complain. If you happen across this report and you have a similar situation it is so important to complain. ONLINE. Leave "Bread Crumbs" so that Lawyers and the FTC who safeguard consumers can see that this company is harrassing people and not identifying themselves and using robocalls, etc.
These are all VIOLATIONS.
The address I found for them online (although I'm sure its changed as this company seems to want to keep their "mailing adress" secret is:
Stephens & Michaels Associates
63 Range Rd Windham, NH 03087
United States Tel: 603-537-1740
Don't let these debt collectors harrass you. File complaints. With your state's attorney general office. With the FTC. And with other consumer watchdogs. Make sure they are licensed to collect in your state. Check on the statute of limitations to see if they have expired or are close to expiring. And only communicate IN WRITING. Ask for debt validations. Make them produce the original contract. Make them show they have "assignment of debt". DISPUTE, DISPUTE, DISPUTE.
These debt collectors are viciousl. They will harrass family members, friends, coworkers, one man even said they were harrassing his next door neighbors. People sometimes fall on hard times and no one should be driven to their grave if they can't pay. We have rules such as those of the FTC FOR A PURPOSE.
I hate the way they operate. I hate companies that LIE to collect. I hate companies that HARRASS to collect. I hate companies that HARRASS FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS to collect.
With all that, I have no idea when this debt occurred. I will have to see if St. Vincents left some other way to get this information because someone has apparently used my identity as I have never gone there.