Got a call yesterday saying I wrote a BAD Check in 2008 for $25 was told I now need to pay almost $400 or face criminal charges?

Asked 5 months ago - Ford, VA

I feel I am being scammed by Emily Atwood Art of Devotion. I sent her a $25.00 Check in August of 2008.I got a phone call message yesterday 11/06/2013 stating that the check I wrote her in 2008 was returned for insufficient funds and I needed to pay close to $400.00 to avoid criminal prosecution.I was puzzled by this because #1, I have never wrote a bad check in my life and I'm 52 years old. #2, I was never notified by my bank or anyone else for that matter in 2008 that I had wrote a check that was not paid(Honored by my bank). #3, I have overdraft protection at my bank which means if the check was presented and if I did not have funds to cover it then it would have still been paid and my bank would have contacted me! I live in VA. and the check was mailed to CA. Can they have me arrested?

Additional information

The Company who called me claim to be GR ASSOCIATES the phone number they used was 678-892-8560 which I found out is located in Georgia

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Jason Meyer Krumbein

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Almost guaranteed to be a scam.
    Here is a blog entry I did about this issue. http://ow.ly/qB4JB
    This also applies to most everything else check related.

    The hard part is tracking down these scammers.They will not give you an address or valid information on who they really are.
    If you are able to get information, and you google them and there is someone at the other end, please feel free to contact me or some other consumer protection lawyer.

    Mr. Krumbein is admitted to the courts of Virginia. His advice is often based on Virginia and Federal law,... more
  2. Robert J Adams Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I think you are being scammed. Find a lawyer who has experience in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  3. Benjamin John Upton

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . I feel comfortable saying this is almost certainly a scam. Even if this is not a scam, the failure to follow up with you for more than five years has destroyed any potential claim, even a criminal one. The statute of limitations for writing a bad check less than $200.00 is five years after writing the check, which means any claim against you would have become stale in August 2013. The statute of limitations on a contract action is also five years, which means there should not be civil liability either. In short, even if they are telling the truth, they are trying to collect a debt that they have no right to collect, and are threatening criminal prosecution where no right arises. Not only does this mean their threats are empty, but a court may find them in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    Of course, in all likelihood, you will not be able to bring a FDCPA claim against them. Scam artists ordinarily do not give out contact information, use pre-paid cell phones, and take every action they can to avoid letting you track them down. It may be better to simply call their bluff and inform them that you will not pay, and their only option is to seek legal action.

    This response is not offered as legal advice, but is only a general informational response for public interest. No... more
  4. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Since you know you never wrote a bad check, it is clear you are being scammed. Many states regulate collection agencies, and I would be filing a complaint with them about this debt collector. Oh, BTW, in most states, it is also a crime to threaten someone with criminal prosecution to collect a civil debt. You may also want to seek representation from a consumer attorney handling federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases. Hope this perspective helps!

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

25,081 answers this week

2,799 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

25,081 answers this week

2,799 attorneys answering

Legal Dictionary

Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.

Browse our legal dictionary