It will be a long post, I’ll tell you that up front; if you are interested keep on reading, if not, please come back to my next post which will be a fun and crafty post. :)
A couple days ago, I noticed that someone left a message on my cell phone. I am not the type that is too attached to my phone, so I always leave it in my purse or car or who knows where, so I listened to the massage pretty late that evening.
The message was to my husband by a girl named "Rachel" with a really thick Indian accent. English being my second language, I have hard time understanding people with thick accents. I didn't understand what she was saying because of the accent but I caught the word like "Cash loan America", "owe money", "If we don't pay they will sue us and take us to court". WHAT?! I thought.
First of all, we NEVER borrow money from places like that, EVER, besides, I hardly ever give out my cell phone number, and why is she asking for my husband?
Late at night, my husband got home and I told him about the massage. He called back immediately, but it went straight to voice mail and it said the box was full. It didn’t even identify a person or business.
My husband called in the morning, and it went to the machine again, but he called the number again. This time, a guy (with a thick accent) answered the phone and said, “Hello?” Kind of like he was not expecting anyone to call.
So my husband, who I will refer to as Mr. TRH from now on, immediately asked, “Who is this that I am calling?"
The person on the other end asked him if we had been called previously. Mr. TRH said, "Someone named Rachel called us and said we owe money, blah, blah, blah...", he basically, told what we know, without telling him any more information about us of course.
Then the guy said, "This is about the loan that you took out.”
Mr. TRH responded, “What loan?”
“The advance payday loan of $700”
“From where? When? Who are you?”
He told Mr. TRH that the loan was from Cash Advance America, a payday loan company.
Mr.TRH said, "I never borrow money from places like that, When did this happen? What is the store location? And who are you?"
The guy said that it was over the internet, to which Mr. TRH shot back, “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, you never borrow money like that over the internet! I never borrowed money from that place; you will not get a dime!”
He responded a bit agitated and somewhat flustered, “Then why do I have your file!”
“I don’t care! What is your name? When did this loan happen?”
“Let me check my file.” He heard some paper rustling in the background. “It was November 17th of 2010.”
Mr. TRH then asked a barrage of questions not letting him make up any excuses make up information. “Where did the money go?” … “I mean the money was borrowed, what mailing address, what bank did it go to? What is your name?”
He said, “Let me check” then hung up.
Oh, you do not do that to my Mr. TRH. He is such a fun, kind and loving person, but if he needs to, well, especially to protect his family he will be a ROARING LION and Mr. TRH wasn’t finished. He called this scammer right back. This time the guy answered, “Hi this is Dominic from Debt Solutions.”
Mr. TRH lit into him, “Don’t you hang up on me! I want to know where this $700 from Cash Advanced America went to!”
He replied, “Huh, what happened?” (Oh, wrong response Dominic. You really should have known by now that you picked the wrong person to scam. Mr. TRH was in attack mode, he was turning into Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal.)
"What happened? You hung up the phone, and I was not done talking. So, answer my questions!"
Completely upset and surprised, he screamed, “This is not a payday loan!!!”
“I didn’t say payday! I said Cash Advanced America which is what you said earlier!”
Trying to regain his composure Dominic (whatever his name is) said, “This is not a loan, we sent you *an unintelligible phrase* to help you with your electric bill.” Huh? Isn’t this guy from Debt Solutions, now they switch to a sales company?
I was sitting right there and listening to the whole conversations. I could see the Mr. TRH was starting to get irritated but trying to be calm about it...but he was not done talking.
“I don’t know what a-”, Mr. TRH really couldn’t understand what the guy was saying so he mimicked him over that part and continued. “-is! I want to talk about this Cash Advanced Loan.”
Dominic then started speaking angrily, fast and either in a really heavy accent or in another language altogether before finally saying, “I feel like we are not on the same page!”
Mr. TRH told him to calm down and speak more clearly so that he could understand Dominic.
Dominic started to explain that his company has a device that can help lower our electric bill and was surprised that we never received such a device and offered to send us one.
Wow, really? His story changed from "you owe us money" to "You should have received something from us, so you need to pay" to "would you like us to send you one". At this point Mr.TRH's patience toward the guy or the situation was reaching the boiling point.
Basically before hung up the phone, Mr.TRH told the guy; "Listen, we never borrowed money from any place. I never want to hear from you. DO NOT CALL US! DO NOT EMAIL US! DON’T SEND US ANYTHING and I DON'T EVEN WANT TO KNOW THAT YOU EXSIST!"
Click. That was it. All my kids were in the same room doing their reading minutes, but they were stunned. Their eyes were wide open with surprise and curiosity. We had a talk with them that we should usually never talk to people with that kind of tone (but I am so proud of him, he never swore. He was simply making his point to those scammers). But I also told our children how I truly felt. The “bad guys” deserved it.
After the phone call, I still felt somewhat violated, so I wanted to find out if there are other people had the same experience we had. We went online and googled "Cash Advance America Scam"". We even looked up their number on Google and found other accounts very similar to our own as well.
It makes me sick to my stomach that people like that exist. I would love to think that we live in perfect world, but we do not. Some people are so dishonest and don’t care about putting other people in jeopardy. That’s why we need to educate ourselves and be watchful. I wanted you, my dear Tea Rose Home Readers, to know things like this are going around and to be aware of it.
There are a few things that I can pass on to you:
Here’s what to do if you receive a suspicious telephone call regarding an outstanding debt:
1) Ask the caller to provide official documentation verifying the debt.
2) Don’t provide or confirm any bank account, credit card, or other personal information over the phone.
3) Report suspicious calls to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or www.ftc.gov.
Whew! See you at the next post.