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Fredrick, Goldstein & Zoe / Harassing, threatening phone calls

1 NY, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 866-949-9484

They call our home daily. Constantly threatening us in a variety of ways. Have posed as law enforcement agencies among their many tactics. They told my husband that they have a warrant out for my arrest, and if he paid over the phone at that very moment, they would allow the sheriff to "realease me on my own recognizance, " and that because he wouldn't agree, the amount owed increased from $900 to $4, 000. In another call, the man called my husband a "b***h" when he asked for documentation to be sent to us via the US mail. Neither of us remembers having a credit card with the company that they claim that we owe, Providian, is there some way to check??
They also know the last four digits of my social security number, how is that possible?? I filed a complaint at the FTC's website, will it do any good?

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  • Rl
      26th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    You need to call the Canandaigua Police Department and file a criminal complaint

  • Ce
      27th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    27 May 2009 10:46am - I just called this "firm" to give them my personal information for the second time. They have contacted my family (mother, stepfather, grandmother, and a girlfriend I had 10 years ago). They claimed they were NOT a collection agency, but a law firm, and therefore not subject to the FDCPA. After I provided him (a man claiming to be Goldstein) with my personal information in order to stop calls to my family and friends, he told me I needed to provide a fax number for immediate contact from his office. When I called back moments later to request his address and give him said number, I asked when I could expect the fax. He stated "Whenever I get around to it." I explained that the fax number was to a local copy shop and that I needed an ETA for his fax. He said "You've had years to take care of this, I'm not gonna drop everything for someone like you. You're just trying to drag this out because you're a ###." He then hung up.

    For EVERYONE'S information: Frederick, Goldstein, & Zoe (regardless of whether they are a law firm or not) are STILL subject to the FDCPA.

    For example:
    Deceptive Statements or Threats are Common FDCPA Violations

    The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides that
    "[a] debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading
    representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.
    .". 15 U.S.C. 1692e. Yet deceptive threats are among the most common
    violations of the FDCPA.


    Under the FDCPA, even if Company X hires a lawyer or law firm to collect a debt from you, the lawyer or law firm is still considered a collector and must adhere to the FDCPA.

    For more information regarding the Federal Trade Commission and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, check out these websites:

    Deception Standards Developed Under the Federal Trade Commission Act

    This FDCPA section borrows the legal concept of deception from the FTC
    Act. 15 U.S.C. 45. Jeter v. Credit Bureau, Inc., 760 F.2d 1168 (11th
    Cir. 1985). See also Baker v. G.C. Services Corp., 677 F.2d 775, 778
    (9th Cir. 1982); National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection,, Ch. 8 (Boston: NCLC 1991 & 1994 Supp) (using FTC law
    for private action and complaints). Courts construing this section
    should find decisions and principles of construction under the FTC Act
    persuasive. The proscription of deception developed by the FTC and the
    courts since deception was prohibited by the FTC Act in 1938 is quite
    broad and approaches a requirement of merchants of honest openness and
    truthful frankness when dealing with consumers.

    Many of the elements of common law fraud are irrelevant to an action for
    deception. There is no requirement that an intent to deceive be
    established. National Consumer Law Center, Unfair and Deceptive Acts
    and Practices 4.2.4 (Boston: NCLC 1991). Knowledge of a statement's
    falsity is not a necessary element to establish deception. National
    Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection 4.2.5 (2d ed. 1991 and
    Supp.). Good faith is not a defense. National Consumer Law Center,
    Fair Debt Collection 4.2.6 (Boston: NCLC 1991 and Supp.). But cf. Id.
    7.5. The fact that a practice is customary does not prevent it from
    being deceptive. National Consumer Law Center, Unfair and Deceptive
    Acts and Practices 4.2.8 (Boston: NCLC 1991).

    The "capacity" or "tendency" to deceive is sufficient so that actual
    deception need not be shown except to establish damages. Id. 4.2.9.
    See also National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection
    (Boston: NCLC 1991 and Supp.). Thus "puffing" is not a defense unless
    the deception has no capacity to deceive. National Consumer Law Center,
    Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices 4.2.9 (Boston: NCLC 1991).
    The concept of deception protects even the ignorant, unthinking and the
    credulous, least sophisticated consumer. Id. 4.2.11. See also Jeter
    v. Credit Bureau, Inc., 760 F.2d 1168 (11th Cir. 1985); National
    Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection 5.1, 5.7.3 (Boston: NCLC
    1991 and Supp.). The materiality of the deception may be inferred,
    and showing detrimental reliance is unnecessary. National Consumer Law
    Center, Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices 4.2.12 (Boston: NCLC

    Truth is not a defense to a claim of deception. Literally true
    statements, partial truths, and ambiguous statements are deceptive if
    the statement is subject to an interpretation or contains an implication
    with the capacity to deceive. Id. 4.2.13; Tashof v. FTC, 437 F.2d 707
    (D.C. Cir. 1970) (representation of "easy credit" deceptive, where
    seller extended credit liberally but regularly used harsh collection
    tactics, including garnishment); Sunshine Art Studios, Inc. v. FTC, 481
    F.2d 1171 (1st Cir. 1973) (use of name of shell corporation deceptively
    created false impression that a third party collector was involved).
    The failure to disclose information is deceptive if necessary
    qualifications are not made, material information is omitted or the
    disclosures made are too inconspicuous. National Consumer Law Center,
    Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices 4.2.14 (Boston: NCLC 1991);
    Simeon Management Corp. v. FTC, 579 F.2d 1137 (9th Cir. 1978) (weight
    loss clinic's ads deceptive although they contained no false facts but
    did not disclose that the injection of a drug found not safe and
    effective for obesity was part of clinic's program); Tashof v. FTC, 437
    F.2d 707 (D.C. Cir. 1970) (failure to disclose credit charges and terms
    in contracts); J.B. Williams Co. v. FTC, 881 F.2d 884 (6th Cir. 1967)
    (Geritol ads must disclose that iron deficiency anemia is not the cause
    of most tiredness); Benrus Watch Co. v. FTC, 352 F.2d 313 (8th Cir.
    1965), cert. denied, 384 U.S. 939 (1966) (representing "fully
    guaranteed" or "guaranteed" watch without conspicuously disclosing $1.00
    service charge is deceptive); Brite Mfg. Co. v. FTC, 347 F.2d 477 (D.C.
    Cir. 1965) (failure to conspicuously disclose foreign origin of
    watchbands deceptive); Waltham Watch Co. v. FTC, 318 F.2d 28 (7th Cir.),
    cert. denied, 375 U.S. 944 (1963) (deceptive to fail to disclose that
    Waltham clocks are no longer manufactured by Waltham Watch Co. and to
    not disclose the country of origin); Bice v. Merchants Adjustment
    Service, Clearinghouse No. 41, 265 (S.D.Ala. 1985) (deceptive not to
    disclose exemption when threatening execution on personal property).
    See also Anderson, FTC Informal Staff Letter (Nov. 18, 1988). But cf.
    Sakuma v. First Nat'l Credit Bureau, Clearinghouse No. 45, 756 (D.Hawaii
    1989) (collector not required to make a disclaimer about its lack of
    license in the consumer's state and its inability to collect there).

    The FDCPA Deception Standard Builds on FTC Act

    The FDCPA standard of deception builds on the FTC Act standard existing
    at the time the FDCPA was enacted. Jeter v. Credit Bureau, Inc., 760
    F.2d 1168 (11th Cir. 1985); Baker v. G.C. Services Corp., 677 F.2d 775,
    778 (9th Cir. 1982). The FDCPA was intended to protect the
    unsophisticated consumer from statements with a capacity to deceive.
    Id.; National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection 5.1 (Boston:
    NCLC 1991 and Supp.). See also Crossley v. Lieberman, 90 B.R. 682 (E.D.
    Pa. 1988) ("The rules of the game have changed. An attorney pursuing a
    debtor . . . is required to be truthful"); Henderson v. Credit Bureau,
    Inc., Clearinghouse No. 45, 349 (W.D.N.Y. 1989); Rosa v. Gaynor, 784 F.
    Supp. 1 (D.Conn. 1989) ("The FDCPA does not distinguish among debtors
    determining that only those with a certain amount of education or a
    certain knowledge of commercial or legal practices are worthy of
    protection."); Johnson v. Statewide Collections, Inc., 778 P.2d 93 (Wyo.
    1989) (least sophisticated consumer is standard).

    Violations of this section need not be intentional to be actionable,
    although the Act, see 15 U.S.C. 1692k(c) discussed in National
    Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection 6.11.1 (Boston: NCLC 1991
    and Supp.), see also Littles v. Lieberman, 90 B.R. 700 (E.D. Pa. 1988)
    (statutory damages of $100.00 appropriate where the collector was
    careless and his knowledge was imputed), provides a complete defense to
    a collector for unintentional errors in certain situations. The FDCPA
    is generally written as a strict liability statute, see National
    Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection 5.1.1 (Boston: NCLC 1991 and
    Supp.), although some courts have balked at this approach. See text
    accompanying National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection notes
    389.1 to 389.7 (Boston: NCLC 1991 and Supp.). 15 U.S.C. 1692e(10),
    discussed in Id. 5.7.12., explicitly includes "attempts" to collect a

    Proof of detrimental reliance or of actual damage is not required to
    establish liability for statutory damages, e.g., Jeter v. Credit Bureau,
    Inc., 760 F.2d 1168 (11th Cir. 1985) (actual deception of plaintiff
    relevant to damages but not liability), but cf. Miller v. Mikell, 17
    Clearinghouse Rev. 585 (No. 34, 362) (N.D.Ill. 1982) (upon denying the
    collector's motion for summary judgment, court stated that whether the
    consumers were deceived or relied upon the communication are remaining
    material factual questions), but proof that the deception caused damage
    would be required to recover actual damages. The misrepresentation need
    not be a factual one, but may be a misrepresentation of the consumer's
    legal rights. Juras v. Aman Collection Service, Inc., 829 F.2d 739 (9th
    Cir. 1987) (misrepresenting state university's legal rights and
    obligations to withhold student transcripts); Prillerman v. Weltman,
    Weinberg & Assocs., Clearinghouse No. 42, 629, 21 Clearinghouse Rev. 507
    (N.D. Ohio 1987) (consent decree) (collection law firm agreed to provide
    additional notice of exemptions and not misrepresent the rights of
    judgment debtors to property exempt from levy); West v. Costen, 558 F.
    Supp. 564 (W.D.Va. 1983) (collector violated 15 U.S.C. 1692e(2)(A) &
    (B) by attempting to collect an illegal $15 service charge on bad checks
    without disclosing that the charge had been added to the amount demanded
    and by implying the charge was lawful); FTC Official Staff Commentary
    807(10), 4, discussed in National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt
    Collection 3.2.5 (Boston: NCLC 1991 and Supp.) supra [reprinted in Id.
    Appx. J]. See also Michael, FTC Informal Staff Letter (Sept. 22, 1988)
    (letter overstating a consumer's liability under a dishonored check
    statute may be deceptive under 15 U.S.C. 1692e(2) & (10), and
    possibly (7)).

    An Objective Standard of Deception Is Applied to Protect the
    Unsophisticated Consumer or Debtor

    The courts apply an objective standard of deception, the "least
    sophisticated" or "unsophisticated" consumer standard, so that proof of
    actual deception is neither required nor relevant to the determination
    of a collector's liability. Swanson v. Southern Oregon Credit Service,
    869 F.2d 1222, 1225-28 (9th Cir. 1988); Jeter v. Credit Bur., Inc., 760
    F.2d 1168, 1172-75 (11th Cir. 1985); Baker v. G.C. Services Corp., 677
    F.2d 775, 778 (9th Cir. 1982); Johnson v. Eaton, 873 F.Supp. 1019 (M.D.
    La. 1995); Dutton v. Wolhar, 809 F.Supp. 1130 (D.Del. 1992); Beattie
    v. D.M. Collections, Inc., 745 F.Supp. 383, 392 (D.Del. 1991); Kimber
    v. Federal Financial Corp., 668 F. Supp. 1480, 1486-87 (M.D.Ala. 1987);
    United States v. Central Adjustment Bureau, Inc., 667 F.Supp. 370, 375
    (N.D. Tex. 1986), aff'd on other grounds, 823 F.2d 880 (5th Cir. 1987).
    For a discussion of the courts early disagreement on the applicable
    standard, see Annot., What Constitutes False, Deceptive, or Misleading
    Representation or Means in Connection with Collection of Debt Proscribed
    by Provisions of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C.
    1692(e)), 67 A.L.R. Fed. 974 (1984).

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Jeter v. Credit
    Bureau, Inc., 760 F.2d 1168 (11th Cir. 1985), expressly rejected the
    standard employed by the district court, see also Blackwell v.
    Professional Business Servs., 526 F.Supp. 535 (N.D. Ga. 1981), of
    whether a reasonable consumer would be mislead or deceived, and applied
    the "least sophisticated consumer" standard to the deception analysis,
    760 F.2d at 1177, utilizing the FTC standard. Id. at 1172-75. It
    reasoned that that Congress' intent in enacting the FDCPA -- as
    explicitly stated at 15 U.S.C. 1692(a) & (b) and as found in the Act's
    legislative history -- was to strengthen the federal protections for
    consumers. It would thwart this legislative intent to adopt a less
    protective standard for the FDCPA than the FTC Act. As more recently
    explained in Clomon v. Jackson, "The basic purpose of the least-
    sophisticated consumer standard is to ensure that the FDCPA protects all
    consumers, the gullible as well as the shrewd." 988 F.2d 1314 (2d Cir.
    1993). See also Bentley v. Great Lakes Collection Bureau, 6 F.3d 60 (2d
    Cir. 1993); Swanson v. Southern Oregon Credit Service, Inc., 869 F.2d
    1222 (9th Cir. 1988).

    The Seventh Circuit has adopted essentially the same standard, but
    relabelled it (on grammatical grounds) the "unsophisticated consumer
    standard." Gammon v. GC Services, 27 F.3d 1254 (7th Cir. 1994) (debt
    collector's written statement that: "We provide the systems used by a
    major branch of the federal government and various state governments. .
    . . You must surely know the problems you will face later if you do not
    pay, " was sufficient to provide the basis for a claim upon which relief
    could be granted under 15 U.S.C. 1692e). See Vaughn v. CSC Credit
    Services, Inc., 1995 WL 51402 (N.D.Ill. 1995). One district court
    applying the unsophisticated consumer standard has held that it is
    substantially the same as the least sophisticated consumer test. Avila
    v. Van Ru Credit Corp., 1995 WL 55255 (N.D. Ill. 1995).

    Deception in the Specific Letter

    In the June 16 letter at the beginning of this article, it was deceptive
    to threaten suit in five days when in fact suit was not filed for two
    months, and suit was not intended at time it was threatened. The
    threats of garnishment and attachment misrepresented those remedies by
    not mentioning exemptions that protect wages and other property from
    seizure and by suggesting that the loss of all property was inevitable.
    Oglesby v. Rotche, 1993 WL460841 (N.D.Ill. 1993).

    There are hundreds of decisions under the FDCPA considering the
    deceptiveness of statements in dunning letters, and nearly all of the
    decisions are favorable to the consumer advancing the claim. See
    National Consumer Law Center, Fair Debt Collection Appx.H.2.4. (Boston:
    NCLC 1991 and Supp.) This should be one of the primary areas of inquiry
    and analysis for lawyers in this area.

  • Ap
      3rd of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Fredrick, Goldstein & Zoe Complaints - Harassing, threatening phone calls
    Review all Fredrick, Goldstein & Zoe complaints
    Fredrick, Goldstein & Zoe
    New York
    United States
    Phone: 866-949-9484,

    They have called my home over four times. leaving messages from Investorgator Jefferson, stating they are going to place a law suite against me, if I do not call that number back. The first time I called to find out what was this all about. They would not tell me the company or who they were working for. When, I asked for a address and from them to send me this information in writing, They claimed they have did this. I never, got this information before. They wanted me to make a payment for this account, no compain over the phone to stop the court process. Nebr, would give me any information, only that I own them $3, 000.00. And it had to be paid now. I asked to speak to a supervisory. He was busy. They then called my family and neighbors. I aslo, asked them to fax me the information. They said, they could not do it today.
    O asked who they were, they claimed they were NOT a collection agency, but a law firm, and therefore not subject to any laws about there way of collection. They also told my family and me that they have a warrant out for my arrest, and if I paid over the phone at that very moment, they would allow the sheriff to "realease me on my own recognizance, " and that because he wouldn't agree, the amount owed increased from $300o to $5000. Where do I go for this harssement? I am sick and out of work for years.

  • Gr
      25th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Here is how to stop these thugs:

    1) Tell them you are recording the call and will forward the recording to New York Assistant Attorney General Dennis Rosen of the Consumer Fraud Division.

    2) Whatever they say, just laugh at them. Just Laugh – tell them you know they are scam artists and they do not scare you at all.

    3) read this:


    Employees Posed as Law Enforcement Officials and Threatened to Throw Consumers in Jail if They Didn't Immediately Pay Debts

    Latest Action in Cuomo's Ongoing Probe into Unlawful Debt Collection Practices

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK (June 23, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has shut down a New York collection operation that consisted of at least nine debt collection companies across Western New York, run by Buffalo resident Tobias Boyland. This is the latest action in Attorney General Cuomo's ongoing investigation of unlawful debt collection practices.

    According to hundreds of consumer complaints filed with law enforcement agencies across the country, Boyland's employees violated state and federal law by routinely posing as law enforcement officials, threatening to arrest consumers and throw them in jail unless they made arrangements to pay the company immediately. Under the terms of the court order obtained today by Cuomo's office in Buffalo Supreme Court, Boyland's operation will shut down all of its companies in the Buffalo area. Attorney General Cuomo also announced that his Office executed search warrants on four of the operations known locations and on Boyland's residence this morning. When investigators from the Attorney General's Office arrived at the residence, they found a loaded, .380 semi-automatic pistol on Boyland's person. Boyland was taken into custody by the Erie County Sheriff and the Office of the Erie County District Attorney will handle the resulting gun-possession case.

    "Plain and simple, this company was run by people who lied, bullied and preyed on vulnerable Americans struggling to resolve their financial situation, " said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. "Pretending to be a police officer, threatening to throw consumers in jail - these practices are as despicable as they are illegal. My Office will continue to relentlessly root out these kinds of tactics and shut down unscrupulous companies that violate the rights of consumers across New York and the entire nation."

    According to the lawsuit filed by the Attorney Generals Office, Boyland, a convicted felon, and three other individuals ran numerous debt collecting companies that operated out of at least four locations in Western New York. The other three individuals named in the lawsuit are Kayla Pritchett, Dellian Sharp and Dorian Wills. Both Sharp and Will also have criminal records.

    These debt collection agencies operated under several names across the Buffalo area, including: Central Resource Management, Final Claims Asset Locators, Final Control Asset Locators, Interchange Payment Solutions, Next Step Services, Portfolio Asset Assurance, Silverbay Services, and Teleport. Their collectors routinely made scripted telephone calls designed to intimidate consumers into paying their debts. The debt collectors pretended to be law enforcement officers and threatened consumers with arrest and incarceration if they failed to pay. These employees also falsely informed consumers that they were being sued in civil court.

    Attorney General Cuomo's investigation revealed that collectors regularly demanded payment for non-existent debts, demanded payments for debts that had already passed the statute of limitations, or substantially inflated the amount owed on an actual debt. Using their false law enforcement identities, collectors coerced and cajoled terrified consumers into agreeing to make payments. Frightened at the prospect of arrest and humiliation, consumers authorized withdrawals from their checking accounts, sent Western Union moneygrams and/or money orders out of fear. Consumers were intentionally given misleading names, addresses and telephone numbers that led them to believe the businesses were located far from the Buffalo area.

    Peter Dellinger of the Empire Justice Center said, The Empire Justice Center stands firmly behind Attorney General Cuomo's efforts to stamp out fraudulent and abusive debt collectors across the country. In these times of financial hardship, dishonest debt collection companies are attempting to take advantage of honest, hard-working consumers. We thank Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for his leadership and for putting a stop to these merchants of financial misery.

    The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the New York State debt collection and consumer protection laws prohibit the following conduct: posing as an attorney, threatening lawsuits or other legal action which cannot be taken, saying a consumer committed a crime or will be arrested and talking with third parties except to get location information. The law further requires collection agencies to send a written notice within five days of initial communication with the consumer explaining how he or she can dispute the debt. If properly disputed, the collection agency must stop all collection attempts and send verification.

    Today's action is part of a larger investigation by Attorney General Cuomo into unlawful debt collection practices. Earlier this month, Cuomo announced settlements with three Western New York-based debt collection companies to reform their deceptive methods. Attorney General Cuomo also subpoenaed nearly twenty companies and law firms operating as debt collectors throughout the state. His office shut down two collectors for threatening and intimidating consumers into paying debts that they did not owe. In early May, Attorney General Cuomo announced a lawsuit against two debt settlement companies for fraudulent business practices and false advertising by selling misleading debt settlement plans that very rarely deliver the promised benefits to consumers dealing with debt.

    Cuomo also launched a website - that explains consumer rights, allows victims of debt collection and debt settlement companies quick access to the Attorney Generals office to file complaints, and outlines the stages of the Attorney Generals investigation.

    The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Dennis Rosen, Assistant Attorney General Nathan Reilly, Assistant Attorney General James Morrissey and Senior Consumer Fraud Representative Karen Davis, under the supervision of Special Deputy Chief of Staff Mitra Hormozi.

    4. Go to

    5) Fill out the form and file the complaint.

  • Ka
      28th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    We're in North Carolina. My husband was threatened yesterday by these people.They Threatened him with a felony charge triple the original debt, which they'll tell us nothing other than the amount and date it was incurred.Do we have the same recourse of complaint as the people in New York? It took me 6 phone calls to clearly get the name of the company and they said they're in Farmington New York. I called 411 and was told ther was NO company listed there by that name. Anyone with advice? Thanks

  • Ve
      11th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I just filed a complaint against the company with the New York Attorney General. Sadly, my state has done away with our consumer protection division as of July 1 or I would have filed there as well.

    Randy Mason of Fredericks, Goldstein, & Zoe called and left a message on our answering machine. He claimed my husband had 48 hours to contact them or they would issue a summons. He left a case number #194983 and said it was for our county's civil court.

    I called the court myself and found there is no such case. The numbers given are not even close to the standard for our state.

    1-866-949-9489 (callerID)
    1-866-9499431 (call back number left on machine)

    I also received a call from my mother who lives in another state she was contacted by the same man and he was threatening her.

  • Th
      11th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hello All-

    These people are con artists, scam artists, flim-flammers, etc. They have NO authority whatsoever, and their claims are completely and 100% BOGUS. Cuss them out, laugh at them, but, DO NOT give any personal information over the phone. These ###s are just dirty crooks trying to get an easy score. Don't be afraid, and don't pay them any mind. See the above email about reporting them to the police (which I eventually did as well).

  • Ja
      17th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Yes, they called my father today with lots of lies and crap. Not only did I call the Erie Sheriff's Office and filed a complaint, I contacted the License Bureau, and there is no record of these crooks even having a license to do business. I will follow up with more criminal complaints tomorrow.

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