Debt Mediation Scam 2
I’ve gotten several unsolicited mailings from American Debt Mediators (ADM).
One was a white business letter, with “Activation Notice” and an 800 number in the upper right corner. Below that are a Reference Number, Est Creditor Balances and Projected Settlement Offers. In bold type, the letter warns that my credit card balance mediation program has not been activated. That’s not a surprise, since I’ve never heard of it or them before. They try to add pressure by writing that my open enrollment will expire on 2/1/2013. My estimated payment was $335.00 per month. There was an illegible signature.
I also received a four-color, two-page folded Winter 2013 brochure. The colors and layout of the brochure resembles ADM’s website, except that it also includes ads for magicJack, health plans, identity theft protection, roadside assistance, legal care, tax help, a caller ID blocker, a stainless steel wallet, a magnifying glass (for reading the fine print), a trunk organizer, a coin counter, and wall safes disguised as clocks. Is this debt mediation or a mail order house?
Several weeks later I got a pink business letter, a 2nd Activation Notice, almost identical to the first, except that the deadline had been extended to 2/15/2013.
As I noted in an update to Debt Mediation Scam, I got a second notice (made to resemble an overdaft notice) from Credit Relief Associates/CRV with the same address as shown on the ADM mailings. So I assume CRA and ADM are actually the same outfit.
The Better Business Bureau for Dallas and NorthEast Texas notes that ADM has not even applied for accreditation. Corporationwiki lists Chris Elliot as an officer. Bizapedia indicates that ADM is only four months old. LinkedIn lists Scott Pugsley, with a picture of Albert Einstein, as an employee, with a varied resume:
Owner at My Burning Design Past: Senior Credit Specialist at CreditArbitraitors, Training Manager at Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates, Program Director / Marketing Coordinater at Hudson Valley Karate, Training Manager at Professional Recovery Services, Senior Claims Adjuster at Allied Bond and Collection Agency, BMSAR at US Navy
Commenters on Get Out of Debt note that Credit Resolution Advisors used to be Credit Arbitrators LLC and were CreditAnswers before that. They were AutoAssure at some point, which sells bogus auto warrantys. The owner and CEO might be Bill Loughborough, though his LinkedIn account is sparse. Commenter Steve claims he used to work there:
i left after 2 years because i could no longer wash the stink off. Changed name 3 times while i was there. don’t forget about their sister company, The Jensen Legal Group or Credit Relief Advocates. Same company, same sales people, same scam. they teach you to tippy toe around the rules and regulations and to say anything to get the client to sign. terrible place, drinking on the job, former criminals work there. just terrible. so to recap…Credit Answers, Credit Arbitrators, Credit Resolution Advisors, Jensen Legal Group, Credit Relief Advocates, same company, same scam artists. 5 names in 2 1/2 years same crooks.
Update 2013-04-15: I’m now getting the same pitch from Debt Arbitrators.