While I was away from home this morning for physical and occupational therapy, a phone call was received by a company named CDR and Associates. They claimed to be calling me over "some unusual internet activity" according to the individual who took the call. The Caller ID names the caller as "Law Offices of CRD," and the number was 855-546-7300.
Upon returning home this afternoon, I called the number, and got voice mail telling me to leave my name, number, and account number. Not knowing what this was about, I opted to hang up and try calling again. This time I got a person, and I gave him my name and asked to speak with whomever had called. When he requested my SSN, I refused to provide it, explaining that I did not know who he was, and as such I was unwilling to provide personal information. I was then transferred to a woman who again requested my SSN, and I gave the same response. She said she was calling on a fraud matter, but refused to explain further. She then stated she had my SSN already, and I offered to provide the last four of that, which she accepted.
The woman then claimed that I was being contacted on behalf of Cashnet USA, and that I owed them a lot of money, and I needed to resolve it that day to avoid being charged with check fraud. I explained that, even if I had the money, I'm not about to give personal information over the phone, and I needed more information about the debt. She then transferred me to a third woman, who gave me more detailed information.
According to this woman, I allegedly took out a loan for $900 from Cashnet USA on September 27, 2010. I explained that this was not possible, as I was in Laredo, TX that day, and that I could provide numerous legal documents to prove that. She claimed that the loan was taken out via the internet, and proceeded to tell me all of my personal information, including a bank account I closed last October (but not my current account or address). She then said that, if I did not pay $1,200, I would be charged with felony fraud. I again explained that I never took out a loan on that date for either amount she told me, and that I was out of town stuck waiting for a loaded semi-trailer to come up from Mexico at the time she claims I took out the loan.
I was then transferred to yet another woman, who said if I did not pay over $6,000 for the loan, interest, and associated fees, she would file a fraud complaint with the local police that day. I asked if she was threatening me with jail, and she said it would be up to the judge. She then offered to "settle the matter for $3,600." Eventually, she was down to $1,600. I explained that, even if I had the money, I'm not about to pay for a loan I never took out, as I am already in over my head with debts that are legitimate. She said she could care less about my other bills, that if I didn't pay this one immediately, they would file charges.
I explained to this woman that they chose the wrong mark. I have no income, am living with friends who are supporting me, because of a serious work-related injury to both upper limbs, the left lower limb, and my lower back. I also explained that I have zero income because I am not working, and am on a medical leave of absence from my employer. She then attempted to obtain work, banking, and other personal information from me. As these people already have my SSN, CDL number, email addresses (including one I haven't used in some time due to excessive spam), former place of residence, etc, I blew her off and explained I am not about to help someone who is threatening to have me charged with a crime. She then backtracked a bit, and said it would be up to a judge what I am charged with, they just wanted to collect on a debt.
I again reiterated that I never took out a loan on September 27, 2010. I demanded that they send me paper proof that I took out such a loan, and she said all they could provide me is my personal information they already had on a blank sheet of paper (no letterhead, no lender information, etc). When I asked if they had anything with my signature on it, they said "no, you signed electronically."
I called BS at that point. What kind of business lends that much money (choose any of the amounts they claimed above) sight unseen, especially on an unsecured loan? But, she claimed it was all legal, and that if I didn't pay it she would file charges immediately. Given my current medical and financial condition, I told her to go for it, I could use the free housing, food, and especially the free healthcare, rather than having to stay with friends and watch myself slide into bankruptcy from medical bills alone. She then said I had one more chance to settle the debt, and that there would be no more calls until the police showed up. Again, I called her bluff, and she hung up.
I decided after the call to check in here at Ripoff Report, and saw all the complaints about this sort of collection practice. I knew I smelled a scam, and my instincts so far appear to be correct.
Further internet checks reveal four companies named CDR Associates. One deals with medical billing conflicts between providers and insurers. Another was recently raided by the FBI, IRS, and other federal agencies. The third deals with large scale conflict resolution. Another is a non-profit involved in organ donations. None are involved with debt collection from individuals.
This looks like yet the same scam I've seen reported by others, just with a new name, using Cashnet USA's name.