The message on my phone this afternoon seemed a bit ominous. I had to call David Jenkins at Process Mediation within 48 hours because of “possible litigation against me.”
I’ve had run-ins with several lawyer-happy individuals in my lifetime, and my first thought was a frenzied, “What now?”
So I called.
The phone was answered by the lovely Michelle Morel who asked for my case number. I rambled off the 2014-66**** case number David gave me, and Michelle asked me to confirm the last four digits of my Social Security Number.
“I’m sorry, but what name is the case under?” I asked.
Michelle lost it. She began screaming into the phone, “I asked your name at the beginning at the call!”
Michelle then escalated into shrieking, “I told you! What is wrong with you?”
Oh no she didn’t! This rude and ignorant women did not realize this Puerto Rican chick with a bad case of PMS was not going to play her game.
I asked again about the name. Michelle continued screeching in hopes that I’d cower and provide her with my Social Security Number.
“Michelle, my name is Kim Keller, and I’m a journalist,” I sternly replied.
Michelle got quiet.
“Do you really want to go there with me?” I asked. “Because I’d love to write a story about you…”
Click. The line went dead.
It was a slow afternoon, and I was desperate for entertainment. I also really wanted to bust these people. So I did a little Google research and called back.
This time I got Melanie. She was much nicer. She asked for the case number, and I provided it. I then asked the question that sent Michelle over the edge. Melanie was cool and asked if I was (Name) Keller.
“Yes, I’m Mrs. Keller,” I replied. Technically, I am a Mrs. Keller.
“This is regarding a $1,300 debt you have with Platinum Citibank from 2007,” Melanie replied. “From Pounders Street.”
Oh, heck. I’ll play along. “In Maryland?”
“No, this is from Los Angeles,” Melanie replied. She then asked me to confirm my Social Security Number with her.
“Melanie, I am Mrs. Keller, but I’m not the one you’re looking for,” I said. “However, I am a journalist and I’d love to do a story about how your company is calling people with fraudulent debt stories and threatening legal action against them. May I speak to one of your supervisors? I’d really like to give y’all a chance to respond before I go to print.”
Melanie asked me to hold for a minute. Twenty minutes later, I was still on hold. I finally hung up.
Ladies, I warned you. I hope you enjoyed the story.
Process Mediation is a scam
Process Mediation is a fraudulent debt collector/identity theft ring, and their tactics are aggressive and intimidating. They will ask you to confirm your social security number and provide them with addresses and other personal information. If you fail to comply, you’ll get lovely shrieking or threats from one of their professional claim representatives.
There are many complaints on file about this group, and unsurprisingly, there is no website for the company nor does a reverse phone look-up show a company name. The number that pops up on caller ID is 302.248.7032302.248.7032, which is somewhere in Wilmington, Del. Their message tells you to call a 888 number.
Don’t take their bait. If you get a call, please report them to your state’s attorney general office and the Federal Trade Commission. Please warn elderly friends and neighbors about these tactics as well. David, Michelle and Melanie are nasty parasites trying to take advantage of people, and they need to be stopped.
What you need to know about fake debt collectors
Taken from the Federal Trade Commission’s website
The Federal Trade Commission reports that consumers across the country are getting telephone calls from people trying to collect on loans the consumers never received or on loans they did receive but for amounts they do not owe. Others are receiving calls from people seeking to recover on loans consumers received but where the creditors never authorized the callers to collect for them.
So what’s the story?
These scam artists posing as debt collectors. These low-lifes may even have some of your personal information, like a bank account number.
A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:
- is seeking payment on a debt for a loan you do not recognize;
- refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number;
- asks you for personal financial or sensitive information; or
- exerts high pressure to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have you arrested or to report you to a law enforcement agency.
The FTC advises consumers to do the following if they think a caller may be a fraud:
- Ask the caller for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written “validation notice.” The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a caller refuses to give you all of this information, do not pay! Paying a fake debt collector will not always make them go away. They may make up another debt to try to get more money from you.
- Stop speaking with the caller. If you have the caller’s address, send a letter demanding that the caller stop contacting you, and keep a copy for your files. By law, real debt collectors must stop calling you if you ask them to in writing.
- Do not give the caller personal financial or other sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number unless you know whom you’re dealing with. Scam artists, like fake debt collectors, can use your information to commit identity theft – charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.
- Contact your creditor. If the debt is legitimate – but you think the collector may not be – contact your creditor about the calls. Share the information you have about the suspicious calls and find out who, if anyone, the creditor has authorized to collect the debt.
- Report the call. Contact the FTC and your state Attorney General’s office with information about suspicious callers. Many states have their own debt collection laws in addition to the federal FDCPA. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.