How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 23185
Experience:  18+ years of NYS litigation experience.
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Last year a place a order over my phone, The divece Was for

Customer Question

last year a place a order over my phone, The divece Was for a cell phone, but when The Ups came, I want to see the device, but I can't open the package so I returned… many months after somebody by the name od Vannesa Peraira call claiming She works for Miami-dale court house, she said that she came across of a file against my name and she is trying to help me…The case in question is from BIOLIFE co. that has file a case and to solve this problem is pay them 450..with a money order. otherwise I have to show in court in Miami. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.

This is a scam. It is a way to try to get personal identifying information from you and to steal your money. Unscrupulous people buy up consumer lists and call them and try to convince people that they owe debts that they don't actually owe.

You followed this up correctly. You called the actual court and they assured you that there was no such case filed against you. They would know. Also, if a case were really filed against you, you would have been personally served with court papers. You would not find out over the phone by a call from some so-called court worker.

Finally, once a case is already filed in the court, you can't just send someone a money order to get rid of it. You'd have to appear. You are being lied to. Block their calls and have nothing more to do with them. They are scamming you!

You need to report the scam to your police, to the FBI at and to the Federal Trade Commission at

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
if in deed they file a claim let say after i do not pay, what chances of them increasing this to 5000?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.

They are not going to file any claim. It's all a lie. You returned the product. They can't get you for $5,000 of shipping costs. That's a preposterous amount of money to ship a cell phone. For that matter, you can buy a dozen cell phones with $5,000. There's no way they are being truthful.

Also, BioLife sells health products and not cell phones. So this has nothng at all to do with that package you returned in the first place.

Scammers make these kinds of calls all of the time. Don't fall for it.

But if you're not convinced, you have substantial rights under a Federal act called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You don't have to buckle to them just because they are claiming you owe them $5,000 but are willing to take $450. You can make them prove to you that you really owe this debt and then if you don't agree you can dispute that debt.

If they call you again, you can ask them for a validation letter in writing and then if you believe you don't owe it, you can dispute the debt if you don't believe that you owe it. You're entitled to do that under the FDCPA. If they won't give you any such letter, they are violating Federal law, which is one more way you know they are scammers.

If you get a validation letter and agree that you do owe this money, then you can make arrangements to pay it. But if you don't agree, you can write back telling them that you're disputing this debt. Once you formally dispute the debt, which you should do in writing, they MUST leave you alone. If they don't, you could report these folks to the Federal Trade Commission as they would be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and can be fined $1,000 for each time they illegally harass you to continue to try to collect money.

If they are scammers and not even real collection agencies, they are probably not going to be intimidated. However, once you tell them that you're disputing the debt, you can safely ignore them.

In the worst case scenario, if they are real and truly believe you owe this debt, they would have to take you to civil court and you could prove there that the debt has been settled or does not exist. But again, they would have to personally serve you with notice. A phone call or email doesn't count.

The Federal Trade Commission gives a wonderful overview of overaggressive and/or fake collection agencies and how to get them off of your back, where to report them, where to learn more, etc.

You can access that here:

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Related Consumer Protection Law Questions