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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 32327
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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I am being threatened with grand theft bounced check

Customer Question

I am being threatened with grand theft for a bounced check from a collection agency. They never sent any written notices. Just one phone call sayin I have till 2 pm the next day to pay 5200 by credit card debit card or western union. Is it legal? What are my options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
It's about a 99% chance it is a scam.
If it was a hot check that was not picked up the D.A would be the one holding the check and would almost always give you a chance to make good onit it, usually at leas a wrrk to two weeks.
Another tip off that it is a scam, is the threat that if you don't pay immediately you will be arrested then next day. There used to be a lot of calls coming out of the Miami Dade area but they usually got the name of the county wrong.
The scamsters also insist that the money be paid by Western Union, Money GHram, Money Pak card, or Green Dot Card. This is because these forms of payment transfer instantly and can't be traced.
Also, if it were real the only one who could possibly be arrested was the one whose name was on the check, no one else but the scammers also threaten loved ones as well.
You also don't mention how old the checks were but in Florida the statute of limitations on hot checks is Less than $150 - two years from the date of the check; Greater than or equal to $150 - three years from the date of the check, so if the dates are longer than that they aren't collectible this way regardless.
I would be willing to bet that if you call the District Attorney's office and tell them you don't remember owing this check but hat if you did you would be willing to pay it then you will find out this check isn't even filed with them.
Please ask any follow up questions you have in this thread. I am only going to be online a few more minutes but will be back first thing in the morning.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The check is a little over a month old. I'm very afraid I have a 9 month old baby and don't want anything to happen to him. I tried to set up payment but they said they are a collection agency not a loan service and if I didn't pay I would be arrested.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Are you sure you bounced a check?
Who is the collection agency?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes.
United tranzactions
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Tell me about the check. Who was it to, what was it for, etc
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was for a deposit on a car to automation ford.
They were supposed to hold it for a month. Then cash it. I had the money but then had a family emergency so it bounced. I called ford they said they had their money and everything was fine. But then today my husband got a call at work from United tranzactions saying we have to pay by tomorrow or they will be filing for grand theft and we will be arrested. When I called them trying to make arrangements the lady was rude wouldn't talk to me and said to either pay or pack up my life because I will be arrested aoon
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Did you keep the car or return it?
Also, was the check post dated?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I still have it. And yes it was.
It's being fiananced through a third party company who we have been paying for the loan. And the ford dealer has their money.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
If it was a post dated check you can't be prosecuted for theft by check. In addition, if they received their funds from a different source so that they are actually not out any money then you couldn't be prosecuted for theft by check either.
They are scamming you. They can't arrest you or even have you arrested. All they can do is file the complaint with the DA who will then examine the facts and will see that no law has been broken. Even in the absolute worst case and the DA didn't look at the case first, the DA would send you a letter advising you that you had a certain number of days to come in and pay them or charges would be filed. You could then go into the office and take all your paperwork and explain what happened and you would never be charged because no laws have been broken and no one has lost anything or any money.
That is the reason they are trying to get you to pay by debit card or Western Union (and they usually won't accept any card except Green Dot or Money Pak) because they know that once you look into it you will realize you have been scammed and will try and stop payment which you can't do on those three methods.
It is absolutely a scam. Call the police and report the scam and then contact the FBI at fbi.gov and report the scam. If they call back advise them that you have done that and then you won't hear from them again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I will most certainly do that.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I really don't think you have to worry. This has all the signs of a classic scam.
I'm about to exit for the evening but if you need to ask follow up questions later feel free to do so. Once you issue your Positive Rating the question locks open and you can ask a follow up at any time.
Best wishes to you and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I receive credit for my work.