Edinburg man fights back against phone scam
Sun, 06 Jun 2010 03:41:17 GMT —
Every day for the last few months, Joe Perales and his wife have dealt with the calls from Allied Interstate.
The collections agency which claims Perales owes more than $700 dollars to a local telephone company.
The problem is that the he never had service from that telephone company.
"I think that its a group of scammers that are trying to you know especially to the old folks like us," Perales said.
Even though he never had the service, Perales said Allied Interstate kept calling, asking for his social security number and address.
The Edinburg man turned Action 4 News to warn others about the possible scam.
"They got no business stealing from the poor people that work," he said.
Action 4 News contacted Allied Interstate, but they got a message asking to call back during business hours.
After doing some research, the Perales family discovered that the company is no stranger to complaints.
"There was five complaints that had been unresolved unanswered," said Dolores Salinas, president of the South Texas Better Business Bureau.
Salinas said the BBB has given the Florida-based collections company an "F" rating, the lowest possible.
If anyone does receive a call similar to the Perales family, she said there are some steps to take.
"The consumer needs to establish that the company is collecting an account that's truly theirs," Salinas said.
To do that, Salinas said the person answering the call should ask the agency for a social security number to verify, not give them theirs.
If the debt belongs to that person, they should then demand proof in writing of what is owed.
To pay, she suggests using a cashier TMs check or money order, not a check or anything they can use to access the person TMs bank account.
On the other hand, Salinas said that if the account does not belong to the person taking the call, they should ask the company to remove them contact information from their list.
If they keep calling, the consumer can report them to the Texas Attorney General's Office Consumer Complaint Hotline at (800) 621-0508 or by going to their website at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml.