Greetings, Jackolytes! Welcome to part three of my scam-tasmagoria!
Quick recap: Just after my son was born, I was contacted in reference to a debt. It wasn’t very clear how this debt came about, but in order to avoid a court summons and potentially thousands of dollars in a lawsuit, I agreed to settle for less than the original amount.
I never received actual documentation of the debt, and what communication I did have looked dubious at best. So I began looking into what I had gotten myself into.
The website for the financial management company that had sent me proof of a payment plan was a sham, complete with doctored stock photos stolen from a Scandinavian bookkeeping website and fake links that they didn’t even bother to try making look like links.
I then started looking up some of the people I talked to and the numbers that I had, and the situation soon became very clear.
The first person I looked up on Google was Lisa Taylor, in conjunction with the name of the company “ADR.” As it turns out, “ADR” stands for “Alternate Dispute Resolution” and isn’t generally for debt collection but mediation, working out other legal matters outside of court.
The name Lisa Taylor pulled up a result for a real person who worked in mediation. That was the end of the similarity, though.
The “direct line” I had for Lisa Taylor was out of Houston, Texas, but the person I found on Google was based in the Midwest, and none of the numbers listed on the numerous professional websites associated with her resembled anything close to the one I was given.
Just to confirm for myself, I contacted the Lisa Taylor I found on Google, and she informed me that she was not in Houston, did not work for “ADR,” did not have any information about me, nor was she aware that there was someone claiming the same name contacting people about debt collection.
I looked up the first phone number I had been given, as well as the direct lines for “Lisa Taylor,” and whoever “Timothy Larsen” was. This took me to www.800notes.com, a website that allows users to search and leave comments about specific numbers that are calling them and is very useful when trying to see if a call is “safe” or not.
Apparently, neither of those numbers was safe. Instead, there were multiple complaints for each, all in reference to being called about debt that wasn’t owed to companies they never associated with.
I was intrigued by this and so, looking further, I Googled “Angelo Stevens ADR” and came up with only a single page on 800notes. However, that single page made reference to both Lisa Taylor and Timothy Larsen as well, and also had complaints about the same type of scam.
I then Googled “Timothy Larsen ADR” and got a list of 14 different numbers on 800notes to which he was referenced specifically. There were pages and pages of reports of people who experienced the same…