Letitia Mika, a resident of Chicago, says she fell prey to a scam artist pretending to be a legitimate debt-collection agency. The Lincolnwood firm PN Financial offered to settle her overdue credit card balance, for which Mika paid $1,800. She later learned that PN Financial was keeping the money, not using it to pay off her debt. The Illinois attorney general's office is now suing PN Financial for fraud in four dozen cases, including Mika's. AG spokesperson Natalie Bauer says PN Financial also was threatening to sue people while it posed as a law firm. In some cases, the firm had sent out letters with fake court case numbers, dishonestly claiming to have filed suit against the letter's recipient. Consumers should be aware of their rights: debt collectors may not call at all hours, may not use threats or call a person's employer to tell them about the debt, and they must apply any payment to the actual debt.