Yes, this is a total SCAM! I nearly fell for it last Monday when I got a cellphone message from an unlisted number. That should have been my first tip-off that something was amiss. Anyway, this company, "CR and Associates" left a scary message for me. Supposedly I had tried to pass off a fraudulent check through Bank of America and Cash America. Which was it? The woman wouldn't tell me. Well, she had all kinds of terrible news for me: I owed $2, 292.42 for the fraudulent check and they were getting ready to file papers with the court and I would soon be served with papers at my home or work place. I was pretty scared because I'm on a fixed income and there's not a chance I can come up with this kind of money just out of the blue. She kindly suggested I borrow the money from a loved one and advised me that I only had 72 hours to resolve this or I would be served/arrested.
I couldn't wrap my mind around what she was telling me and then my brain finally kicked into gear. I remembered that Georgia state doesn't even HAVE payday cash advance places! Also, her company had NO paperwork about this fraudulent check. No copy of the check, no paperwork from Bank of America, etc. Also, no mark on my credit report ever appeared concerning this "arrest-able" offense. I began to smell a rat. Then she piped up, helpfully, that if I sent them $657.45 within the next 24 hours, they could close my case and remove the charge from my credit report. I was still trying to figure out if this was legitimate and I may have told her more information she shouldn't have! I was scared as hell and not listening to what my rational brain was telling me...finally, I got off the phone with her and went to Facebook to ask my friends what I should do. Thank God for friends with more sense and brains than I have! Everyone was instantly suspicious and told me to absolutely not send this "collection company" any money. And so I haven't. Tip off #1. There aren't even Cash Advance stores in Georgia. #2. I have never written a fraudulent check in my entire life. I may be dumb sometimes but even I'm not that stupid! #3. The fact that when I asked for documentation and they hemmed and hawed and said they weren't able to/didn't have a copy of the bad check. Riiiiiiiight!! Anyway, any collection company that threatens that you'll be served with papers for some bad check that was supposedly written seven or more years ago is NOT legitimate!! WHY didn't Bank of America ever contact me? Why, when I applied to buy a membership in a housing co-op, did this never show up on my background check? I was a member of the board on that same co-op and I've reviewed plenty of applications for membership. A fraudulent check would show up as a HUGE red flag.
So, the moral of the story is don't let your emotions get the jump on your brain. If you KNOW you've never written a bad check, do some thinking, ask questions and if the company can't give you proof of your supposed misdeeds, hang up on them and NEVER confirm or deny any personal information they tell you.