A family in Plainville sought to warn others of an aggressive debt collection scheme to which they were nearly a victim.
"They stated that they are from the Atlantic Group," said Dennis Japonis of Plainville. "[It was] a collection agency saying 'you have been officially notified we are going to be collecting a debt.'”
Dennis Japonis said the call came to his mother's cell phone. She lives in Bristol.
"I was a little worried there,” said Dorothy Jabonis of Bristol.
She didn't pick up, but a message was left in her voicemail.
“This is a notification for Dennis Japonis," the message said. "This is [inaudible] with the Atlantic Group contacting you regarding two serious allegations against you that must be processed immediately.”
"Then they also sit there and say we are going to come to your place of work and your place of residence regarding this bill," Dennis Japonis said.
He said he took out a short term loan years ago, but paid it off by 2009.
"They’re saying I took out money [in] January of 2012 through Bank of America," Dennis Japonis said.
That's when he said he began to think it was bogus. He called his attorney in New Britain who told him that clients received similar calls from people claiming to be from the "Atlantic Group."
Dennis Japonis said he didn't pay. Instead, he contacted Plainville police.
Eyewitness News contacted the Atlantic Group to see what they had to say.
"Are you a lawyer? I am not a lawyer?" the unidentified party asked. "Well then I cannot assist you, have a wonderful day."
Dennis Japonis said he didn't file a formal complaint with police. Lt. Eric Peterson of the Plainville Police Department said it is an important step when a suspicious debt collector calls.
"Call the police," Peterson said. "Let us know, let us investigate it.”
Eyewitness News also spoke with the state Department of Consumer Protection, state police and several other agencies. They said they never fielded complaints about the "Atlantic Group."
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