BONITA SPRINGS, FL.--Threatening messages were left for a Bonita Springs woman whose identity we are hiding.
The voice-mails claimed the woman's husband was involved in a criminal matter. The caller also had his full name and the last four of his Social Security Number.
As the voice-mail plays on, the man claims if the family doesn't comply within 24-hours, a Florida judge will issue a warrant and a subpoena will be served.
"An 89 year old lady getting a phone call like this might have a heart attack," said the viewer.
WINK News traced the call-back to a debt collection agency in Amherst, New york called Walker, Williams and Associates.
Our investigation found their address is a UPS store.
We also could not find a website for the company, so we got on the phone.
WINK News sent them the voice-mail our viewer got and an employee told me the woman's case is a civil matter and couldn't tell me why the voice-mail said a criminal matter.
Our viewer says she doesn't owe any money to anyone.
"I found a lot of complaints against this company and that phone number they gave me to call back," she said.
So did WINK News. We uncovered numerous complaints about Walker, Williams and Associates.
The same thing--threatening calls, trying to collect money and personal information.
"The practices that they are using are not legal," said Beth Schell with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Schell is now investigating the legitimacy of this company and the debt they say this woman owes.
She says there is a process that reputable debt collectors usually adhere to.
"Legally they notify you by phone and then within 5 days they have to send you a written letter explaining the debt, who you owe the debt to," she Schell.
WINK News also played the voice-mails to local attorney Joseph LoTempio, who handles many cases involving debt collectors.
"I could pick out a number of violations of both the state and federal statutes that you could sue them for just by that voice-mail," said LoTempio.
Sue the debt collector?
"Whether or not that person who receives that message owes money to that entity, that message is still illegal," said LoTempio.
A representative with Walker, Williams and Associates gave WINK News a written statement after we sent them the voice-mail:
"I have reviewed the attached voice mail and am appalled with that conduct. We do not condone that type of conduct in our office. I am researching the call to see if it was one of my representatives. If it was our representative he will be terminated immediately. I take compliance very seriously and that type of conduct will not be tolerated." Said Christopher Singleton of Walker, Williams and Associates.
Here is information letting you know what your rights are and what debt collectors are legally not able to do.
If you would like to file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission here is the link: