The Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland is warning consumers about a company claiming to be a collection agency that is attempting to extort money from people by scaring them with fake lawsuits.

According to the BBB, consumers claim LRS Litigation Services makes robocalls that state they have been named in a lawsuit and, if they do not call LRS within four hours, a restraining order will be issued against them.  LRS has used nearly a dozen different phone numbers, many of which are answered by messages indicating the mailbox is full. Some have been disconnected. Complainants have reported repeated calls to places of employment after notification to stop and the inability of the company to produce or describe any specific documentation of the debt they are trying to collect. In addition, the company reportedly keeps calling and harassing individuals even after being notified that LRS is calling the wrong person.

Complaints to BBB have grown dramatically since the company first surfaced in December 2012, when consumers in Ohio and across the country reported receiving repeated threatening phone calls about payday loan debts. Sixty complaints and over 2,000 inquiries about LRS have been received at BBB to date.

An Elyria woman told BBB, “This company began calling with an automated message that I was named in a lawsuit and an order of restraint has been filed against me. (They said) if I do not call them in 24 hours, they would contact my employer. They left a call back number of 216-644-1249 which the voicemail was full for days. I finally spoke to someone who would not give me his name, only that I had taken out a payday loan (wouldn’t say with who) and I never paid it – NOT TRUE. When I asked for his name and written verification he hung up on me… “

A Witchita Falls, TX woman reported that LRS threatened her son, who has been deceased for several years, with a restraining order and that she had been receiving the calls almost daily.

The details of dozens of other consumer complaints can be viewed on the BBB’s company page on LRS.

LRS has never provided an address for its offices.  BBB has referred this matter to the Federal Trade Commission for further action.

The BBB also noted that the company should not be confused with Louisiana Recovery Services dba LRS Debt Collection Group, a BBB Accredited Business located in Louisiana.

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