LOS ANGELES -- Next time you get a phone call from a charity or a company claiming you owe them money, do some research first.
Janet Leimenstoll said a purchase from her past almost came back to haunt her. She said, "I had purchased years ago some products through the handicapped workers and I hadn't bought anything from them in years and years."
Yet out of the blue, Janet got a call from someone who said they were from that charity - saying she owed them money. They threatened that it would go to collections.
That's when Janet said she felt the pressure.
"They threaten you with sending you to court and they say it will cost you thousands in court fees so you start hearing thousands of dollars." Janet heard thousands and decided to pay up: $150 - three times the cost of the original purchase, because of late fees and fines.
She still didn't feel comfortable about the payment, so she decided to do some investigating about the date they told her she bought the item. She ordered her phone records for the day and they showed no incoming or outgoing phone calls for that day.
Once she confirmed she never purchased any items, she called the company to get a refund. Because she had the proof, she got the refund. But postal inspectors say that's not the case for everyone. Inspectors said 150 to 200 victims lost tens of thousands of dollars.
U.S. Postal Inspector Kim Gordon warned, "If someone calls you asking you to donate to a cause, have them send you some information through the mail so you can check it out."
Gordon also said, "Never be pressured to make this decision on the phone right now, any reputable company would be happy to send you information and take your time."
Postal inspectors found out about the case after getting almost 400 complaints against the company. If you have a problem with a product or company, don't hesitate to contact the company or authorities if you think there's a problem.
US Postal Inspectors/WFMY News 2