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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?

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?

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

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Attorney answers 4


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


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!



Thank You both.I refused to give these people any monies over the phone but asked them to prove to me that they were "Real" at that point they said they would e-mail me a scanned copy of the returned check.They did e-mail me and it IS my check with my signature ,however there were NO marks or stamps at all on the check that could have identified it as being returned for insufficient funds.I called my bank and have forwarded the copy of the said check to them so they could investigate.This is scary for me because they have what looks like an un-cashed check of mine with my routing and account number,phone number,ect. on it ...Yet they told me that they had to hire an investigator to find me ?? All my information on my check has been correct and never changed since 1986 ?? It all just seems so odd to me. I am contacting the Georgia Attorney General because that is where the call came from. Thanks Again


Almost guaranteed to be a scam.
Here is a blog entry I did about this issue.
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, however, you should consult a lawyer in your geographic area for more detailed advice.



Thank You I believe I will contact you :)


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 one reading this is authorized to claim that an attorney client relationship exists with this writer or the writer's law firm. If you have found my advice helpful, please mark it as such; if you believe my response is the best that you have received to this question, please mark it best in thread.

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