I received a “Private Caller” phone called today from Nicole Tarentino of Kessler & Brown lawfirm in New York, New York. She knew my social security number, all my bankruptcy information (including my lawyers name), previous bank information and an old email account number. She claimed that while the payday loan was covered in my bankruptcy, that the debt itself was forgiven, but that the check bounced and they could pursue charges for check fraud based solely on the bounced check. Because the check amount was $270, she stated that under the law, they could claim two times that amount, plus bank fees, bringing the total to $570. When I asked why they were just now informing me of this two years later, she said that this was now a legal matter and that I hadn’t responded to previous phone calls (which I hadn’t because those phone calls were coming from individuals who were obviously calling from their homes with kids playing in the background; not official sounding at all). She told me that I had to pay at least half by 8pm today and that the other half could be set up as a separate payment based on whatever was convenient for me. She stated payment would be made through my debit card (first red flag). At this point, I was freaked out, but still got her contact information (1-844-874-3463) and then she told me my case number. I told her I would be calling my lawyer and getting back to her soon. I called my lawyer who informed me that this is a typical scam. He looked up the law firms information and surprise, surprise, it doesn’t exist. I tried looking up the law firm myself online and couldn’t find anything (other than this site – thank goodness!). I will be filing a report with my local attorney general’s office now that I have a name and phone number. These types of scams are usually escalating situations; when the minor phone soliciters can’t get you to pay, they bring out Nicole, who seems like an aggressive, informed lawyer and scares you into paying. I’m glad I called my lawyer and never gave them a dime. Please don’t allow her to scare you into tears like she did to me! You have resources available to your through your local Attorney General’s office, who always have a department that handles scams. Report her and all others like her! Take care .
This review (Nicole Tarentino Review) was originally published at Holy Smoke !.
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