I received a call yesterday afternoon from Alana from a company she called Barron and Stone Mediation from Pittsburgh PA stating that they had my file in their office for an unpaid payday loan from prior to 2012. The bank she stated was a bank I no longer do business with and the last name she had for me was a prior married name. She said that if I don't resolve this issue TODAY they were going to file 2 felony charges in my country against me. One for Malicious Intent (which is not a chargeable offense, it is something you do to someone) and also Theft by Deception which is not a charge for a bad debt. Bad debts are a civil matter, not a criminal matter unless you are writing bad checks that go unpaid or fraudulent or committing identity theft. The amount she said I owed was $683.50 which if anything would be a Gross Misdemeanor in Minnesota where I live. She said if I paid TODAY that a Drop and Dismiss letter would be sent to my county to clear my name of this debt. I asked her why I have not received any notification from my county and she said that no complaint against me has been filed yet. I then asked her then how can you send them a Drop and Dismiss letter? There was no response from her on the other end. She also said that they have checked my record with the NCIC database and I have no prior bad debt charges against me. Well, no kidding since I pay my debts. NCIC is a database for Federal Law Enforcement, normal people or businesses can not use it or have access to it. I then told her I was going to consult my attorney and I would get back to her (which was never my plan). She said whatever Shelah, we will go ahead with the charges. My response was you need to do what you need to do, send me documentation to my address you have on file Certified Mail and then told her to have a good day. No calls again yet today. I have blocked both those numbers on my cell and home phones. This is a SCAM and PLEASE do not fall for it from anyone calling to get your financial information over the phone. She could not tell me who the originating payday loan was from, she had a date of 3.22.2012 with my incorrect last name. This could be a valid debt, my ex-husband who is now dead was famous for taking out payday loans and using my banking information since we were married at the time. I have never received notification or letter that any such loan went unpaid but since he most likely used his email I may have never seen it. In consulting my attorney, he told me that this practice is ILLEGAL. Individuals trying to collect a debt are not allowed per the FDCPA to use threats or intimidation to collect a debt. He also told me that the Statute of Limitations has expired since this was from prior to 2012. It is 3 years. He also told me that if they do call me again to quote MN Statute 609.27 COERCION. In a nutshell, Acts constituting. Whoever orally or in writing makes any of the following threats and thereby causes another against the other's will to do any act or forbear doing a lawful act is guilty of coercion and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:
(1) a threat to unlawfully inflict bodily harm upon, or hold in confinement, the person threatened or another, when robbery or attempt to rob is not committed thereby; or
(2) a threat to unlawfully inflict damage to the property of the person threatened or another; or
(3) a threat to unlawfully injure a trade, business, profession, or calling; or
(4) a threat to expose a secret or deformity, publish a defamatory statement, or otherwise to expose any person to disgrace or ridicule; or
(5) a threat to make or cause to be made a criminal charge, whether true or false; provided, that a warning of the consequences of a future violation of law given in good faith by a peace officer or prosecuting attorney to any person shall not be deemed a threat for the purposes of this section. My attorney is super pumped to take them to court if it comes to that. I wish I would have recorded the conversation but I did not. I did keep detailed notes and kept asking her questions while avoiding hers. I have also filed a police report with my local police department as an extra layer of protection and documentation. The officer also reiterated that is practice is illegal and to ignore and block the calls.
DO NOT give these people your financial information over the phone. Ask for written documentation and also tell them you are consulting an attorney. The calls may still come in for a bit but after a while, they will give up.
Stop calling and shut them down
Identity Theft Risk: