The Return of Mrs. Larson (RE: Scam alert) Rick Anderson 14 Jan 2005 19:59 UTC

Hi, everyone --

For those who might be interested in hearing the latest in the "Mrs.
Larson" saga: On December 17 I posted a message alerting readers of this
list to the possibility that they might receive aggressive phone calls
from a woman identifying herself only as "Mrs. Larson" and claiming to
represent a company to which the library owes money.

The woman who calls herself "Mrs. Larson" (but refuses to provide her
full name) apparently saw that posting today and left a voicemail
message for me this morning.  She was very irate.   She claims that she
never told me Pentium Capital was a law firm (she now says that it's a
collection agency), and said that my posting was full of lies.  She also
says that she's going to forward my posting to the Federal Trade
Commission and the Better Business Bureau.  Some of the other things she
said were syntactically incoherent, but if I understood some of it
correctly, she did mention that she had not originally called on behalf
of the American Directory Listing Service, so be on the lookout for
calls from her on behalf of some other company.

After receiving that message, I did another Google search to try to find
any trace of a company called Pentium Capital.  I still found nothing.
However, when I called "Mrs. Larson"'s phone number following our
conversation on 12/17 I was able to get the receptionist to tell me what
physical address I would use if I were going to send a UPS shipment to
her company, and the address she gave me was 2660 20th St., Port Huron,
MI, 48060.  As it turns out, a company called DHL Danzas Air & Ocean has
its offices at that address.  When I called that company, they said that
they have no record of any dealings with a company called Pentium
Capital -- however, they do handle postal returns for a company called
(wait for it...) American Directory Listing Service.  The person I spoke
with at DHL Danzas is doing some investigation.

By the way, the phone number that "Mrs. Larson" gave me is a Canadian
number (514-693-5171; her extension is 355).  When I called it again
today and tried to get the receptionist to give me the address of the
office in which she works, she refused.  When I asked her again to tell
me the names of the six companies that she says have offices there, she
told me she was "very busy" and put me on hold.

When "Mrs. Larson" called me again today, one point on which she was
emphatic was that I was going to be hearing from her personal attorney,
since I have made public statements about her that she finds
objectionable.  I called her back and she didn't answer her phone, so I
left her a voicemail message saying that if she would give me her full
name, explain the nature of her business with my library, and
substantiate whatever claims she may have on our money, I will happily
and publicly retract my earlier characterization of her as a probable
scam artist.  I'll let you know if I get a response.

Incidentally, since I sent out that posting on 12/17 I've heard from
several people outside the library profession who have had similar
dealings with "Mrs. Larson" and the companies she represents.  (These
companies do not only target libraries -- they also go after small
business owners.)

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273