Woman Wins $10 Million "Spoofing" Judgment Against No-Show Santa Ana Debt Collection Dickwads
The company is RFA, which was initially represented in court by the apparently synonymous Global AG LLC. There are online listings for RFA/Reliant Financial Associates and Global AG LLC of Wyoming that share the same address: 501 N. Golden Circle Drive, Suite 210, Santa Ana, CA 92705.
Calls by the Weekly today to the listed numbers for those companies were not returned. Some who have complained about them online say the "AG" after Global stands for "Attorney Group" (and is not to be confused with Global Ag LLC, where the "Ag" is short for "Agriculture").
An Ohio County circuit judge awarded the $10 mil in damages after finding RFA/Global AG LLC used "spoofing" tactics against Mey, reports Wheeling, West Virginia's News-Register. You can be spoofed via an application that makes it appear on your caller ID that the call is coming from somewhere else.
She called a number the woman gave for further instructions and received an "evasive" response and the names of several companies. Her son, who knew nothing about owing any debt, called and was provided a credit card name he did not recognize. Using a credit reporting service, he discovered his records had been accessed by RFA of Santa Ana--the same day his mother received the first call.
The son sent RFA a letter about being mistaken about the debt and asked that the company stop calling his mother. Mey then started getting several calls on her cell phone on June 13, 2010, from what the caller ID identified as the Ohio County Sheriff's Department. She contacted the sheriff's department twice thinking the calls were about security concerns with her coffee shop, but she was informed each time that no one at the department had tried to contact her.
Three days later, Mey received another call her caller ID again stated was from the sheriff's department, but this time an unidentified man on the line was "very vile and very vulgar," she later said. And threatening. Her attorney would call it a "sexual assault."
Mey began recording the call, which is allowed under West Virginia law. Afterward, she dialed 9-1-1 to report that someone at the sheriff's department had threatened her. Deputies came to her home and informed her she had likely been "spoofed."
Frightened and home alone, Mey called for her son to come spend the night and went to bed with a gun. She followed up by performing an Internet search of the phone number she was originally instructed to call--and discovered there were several complaints about it from all over the country. (See more on the next page.) She then filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, spoke with the U.S. district attorney and filed the suit that led Judge Martin Gaughan to award her $10 million in damages.
But Mey's attorney says that while Global AG LLC responded to the initial lawsuit--and even discussed filing for an extension--the company ultimately ignored a court summons. The News-Register reports the chairs designated for defense counsel sat empty in the courtroom as Gaughan ruled for Mey.