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Private investigator or collection agency?

Birmingham, AL |

I was recently contacted by a relative saying that a detective called looking for me. They actually asked to speak to that relative but later on, they said they were calling for me about a check that I had written. I haven't lived at that address in years. I haven't written a check in years! I've had some trouble in the past I admit. I have had a letter sent to me by the local pd about a check that was turned in and I have paid those off! I also had a couple of checks that went to a collection agency.I called the number that the person left and it was some investigation services company. I left a message for someone to call me back and no one has. It goes straight to a recording when I call. It's an out of state number. Shouldn't it be the court who contacts me like before? What do I do?

FYI: I finally got in contact with someone. After going back and forth with them for 3 days, I believe that this was a complete scam and this person was trying to scare me into sending this large amount of cash. $400+ for a supposedly $15 check. When I started to ask for proof they hung up immediately and has not called back. I was about to pay them but when I asked how she wanted to receive the money she asked me to go get a prepaid debit card from walgreens, load money on it and then give her the card number. RED FLAG! Then she suggested I send a moneygram to load a card "the firm" already had. Every person she had me speak with sounded exactly like her. Please be advised of this person!

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If this is a collection agency then it normally is illegal to tell your relatives (a "third party") that you allegedly wrote a bad check. All the collection agency can do is ask for your "location information" which is:

1. Your home address;
2. Your home phone; and
3. Your place of employment.

Nothing else.

I doubt this is the court or the police.

If it is a collection agency then normally you will have protection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which is a very powerful law that keeps collectors from mistreating you like this. Or if they do mistreat you, you have the ability to sue and collect money damages if you are successful and force the collection agency to pay for your legal fees.

Let me know if you find out more information about this out of state place.

John G. Watts
Birmingham, Alabama


It's not unusual for a police department to follow up on a bad check issue. Try "googling" the phone number to see what you find; or in the alternative leave a message for them and see what facts they are able to establish about this check issue. From there, you will be better prepared to resolve the issue.


It is unlikely that the court is trying to contact you. More likely it is a collection agency.
There may be statute of limitations issues and you could possibly file Bankruptcy to stop the collection effort.