WWII Veteran threatened over someone else’s bills

Saturday, July 6th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Eighty-seven year-old Thomas Payne is a decorated Air Force veteran from WWII who has difficulty walking due to a heart condition.

A few months ago he and his wife of 53 years Betty Jo started getting threatening phone calls from First Resolution Management, a Seattle-based collection agency, which stated they owed more than 25-hundred dollars on a Capital One credit card.
Betty Jo told the agency, they didn't have that card and "her" Thomas Wade Payne wasn't the one they were looking for.

"They informed us very rough and abrupt that they checked with the assessor's office, utility companies and we were the ones," Mrs. Payne said.

The Paynes told News on Six reporter Patrina Adger that soon after they began receiving several threatening calls demanding payment.

The caller said, "Folks, I called months ago and you told me you were the wrong person we were looking for. We have verified that you are the right people, so uh… it's about time you stop playing games."

The bill then went to a law firm in Oklahoma City and the calls continued.

Sergeant Tony Cellino with TPD’s Fraud unit called that firm and told them they had they wrong guy.
"The last four digits of the social security is off and that Mr. Payne is 87 years old."

The "Thomas Wade Payne" collectors are apparently after is a 53 year old former Tulsa resident.
"Whoever this Thomas Payne is we've located in OKC and has used the address here in Tulsa,” Cellino said.

Sergeant Cellino has been trying to help the Paynes straighten things out.
He called the law firm in Oklahoma City that has been demanding payment and told them the 87 year-old Payne wasn't their man.

He also told them he filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
The law firm then decided to close the Payne's file.

So for now it looks like the matter has been taken care of and the Paynes are off the hook. But only after weeks of harassing calls over someone else’s bills.