OKLAHOMA CITY - Brittney Haskins typically doesn't answer numbers she’s not familiar with, but her caller ID said, “Account Services.”
So she said hello anyway.
“He said he was with consumer collections,” she recalled.
Brittney is a physician assistant and works in an ER.
The unfamiliar voice said she owed hundreds of dollars on an unpaid medical bill, specifically for lab work done in April.
“I had just found out I was pregnant and was getting some basic stuff done for that,” she said. “They knew my address, all my information, [and] somehow they knew I had this blood drawn in April.”
A second guy, posing as the debt collector's supervisor got on the phone and gave himself away when he offered up conflicting information.
We traced the scam number to California.
The guy who answered our call told us his name was "Chad."
He had Brittney's address and said she must have missed the collection notice he sent to her home.
He tried rattling off a bunch of medical mumbo jumbo, starting with the type of lab tests Brittney supposedly had done.
He added, “There was a CBC blood test, a lipid and liver panel, sedimentation rate test, and a comprehensive metabolic panel.”
Even though Brittney’s gut and expertise told her the caller was full of it, he still has a bunch of her personal information, and the last thing this expecting mom needs right now is an unpaid medical debt dinging her credit.
Brittney pulled her credit and put a fraud alert on her credit report.
She’s sounding the alarm, hoping to put this scam out to pasture.
“Because people with chronic conditions, patients that do go get their lab drawn frequently, or the elderly, there's no telling how many people they've gotten on this.”
Remember, it's against the law for a debt collector to threaten you with litigation or jail time.
If a debt is legit, they'll have no problem sending you a verification letter in the mail first.