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Schaffer Ellis Associates

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Schaffer Ellis Associates Reports & Reviews (2)

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

On March 26 I received a phone call from a "Caller No ID" phone. Normally, I ignore these but a very professional-sounding message was left stating they had been retained by Lower Keys Health Center in FL to collect a debt. I did have some collection issues in the past with this hospital but have since paid off and/or settled all my debt in full. Nevertheless, I was concerned that something may be still be outstanding so I returned the call.

I was informed that there had been multiple attempts to contact me in the past and a hard copy of a collection letter had been sent to my address. Both of these statements are untrue. The next statement was essentially a threat to proceed to civil litigation immediately unless I was willing to pay in full or agree to a payment plan that day. The alleged debt was from a medical procedure in October 2002, over sixteen years ago. This was a big red flag. There was an ER visit then but I was fully insured at the time. So this debt was not among those I'd settled. Nor was it ever recorded on my credit report. Another red flag.

I asked for documentation and received through email a "Demand Letter" stating an amount. There was no proof the firm had been retained by the hospital nor was there a billing statement explaining what the charge was for. I checked the website and found there have been multiple near-identical scams by this firm with similar amounts targeting older people such as myself.

What's especially concerning is that a call was made to my older sister the same day. I obviously don't know how the information would have been obtained but the only place her phone number would have been listed is as an emergency contact in my confidential medical record, NOT in a billing statement from the hospital. Without going into the specifics this caused some distress to her and, in my mind, amounts to harassment. Again, without knowing how the information was obtained, it feels as if there may be some identity theft and/or breach of confidential medical records. For this reason I also plan to contact the Federal Trade Commission. I believe this company may have access to old medical records and are trolling them to create bogus "settlements" with the threat of litigation.

- Poplar Bluff, MO, USA

This supposed law firm contacted my husband to get to me...also called my father in law. They say I owe on an 11 year old hospital bill and that I was being sued. I asked them to send me the bill. They emailed me something, but I had to sign to open it. No way was I going to do that. I've contacted the hospital and health insurance, and there's no bill from the date of service they gave me. The first time I talked to them they threatened to garnish my wages and also mentioned I could pay the balance through them...but they're supposed to be a law firm...not a debt collector. Last time I talked to them, I asked for a debt validation letter. They got irritated and tried to spout legal jargon at me. The lady said that I needed to stay off Google...that they were NOT debt collectors. I asked her when I was going to get this bill in the mail. She said I would be summoned and would see it in court. In the middle of asking questions, she hung up on me. I'll just be here waiting on that bill and summons.

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