My guess is that you’ve become a victim of identity theft. Someone has ordered something using your name and some sort of ID, didn’t pay for it when the bill came due, the debt was sold to a collection agency, and now a bill collector is trying to get “you” to pay for it.
Something similar happened to my wife when a former cleaning service employee got hold of my wife’s social security number and ordered some furniture delivered to her house using my wife’s name. (My wife only found out about it when she tried to switch credit card companies, was turned down by the new company because of “her” bad credit rating, and tracked down what happened via the credit rating agency.) It took my wife five or six months to get her name cleared.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any good advice to give you aboutthis situation. Hopefully others will have some.
Or they are trying to collect on A Bosda Di’Chi of Tricor, and you are the only one they could find when their Bosda skipped town. At this point they are hoping that either you did a really bad job of skipping town, or that through your various relatives you can point them at the right Di’Chi. Until you can convince them otherwise, be prepared for continued harassment.
I did skip tracing in college, the amount of pain we were willing to put otherwise uninvolved people through to try and track down a deadbeat was significant.
Check your credit reports to make sure someone hasn’t stolen your identity, but don’t panic yet. I get these calls all the time and no one has stolen mine. Rather, they have a bad number. Either some deadbeat had my number before it was reused, or someone transposed a digit wrong putting my number in the system, or some other mess up happened.
If you ever answer the phone when they call, you can tell them the person that their number is wrong. But, be warned, they don’t readily accept that. I’ve had to be very insistent, and it usually takes many calls.
See, they use some sort of Identity Search system, like Lexis/Nexis. They look up the debtor, and there is a list of “potential neighbors”. They then call all of them, hoping you will go next door and tell your neighbor you have been getting phone calls for him, which supposedly shames him into paying. :rolleyes:
Totally illegal. :mad:
They are allowed to call you, and ask if he is your neighbor, but they can not identify themselves as a debt collection agency when doing so.
sevenwood might be correct, but it’s doubtful. However, go ahead and get a free Credit report from annualcreditreport.com, use up one of the three companies you have- it’s not a bad idea to do this every so often anyway, errrors creep in all the time.
They also kind of fish around, if they can get you to answer the phone. One I’ve had trouble doing this is called something like Allied Interstate. You answer, and they say “Is Furd Burfle in?” “There’s nobody here by that name” “Oh, sorry, I meant Fred Taylor” “Um, no”. They go down some kind of list, hoping to hit on the name of someone who lives there.
My advice is, don’t answer it. They will eventually stop calling.
I’ve found that they will not stop calling until you either return their call or hang yourself. I used to just hang up on the calls, but discovered that if I call the 800 number, a reasonable person usually answers and removes your name from their auto-call list once you assure them you are not the person they’re looking for.
This has been my experience, it is a little like a hydra, though. Once your number is out there associated with someone who has a lot of creditors, different agencies may start calling. (In some cases, even though I suspect they are affiliated agencies, removal from one doesn’t seem to get you off all the lists.) But if you call the 800 numbers back, you can keep the number of calls down.
So, I get a series of calls from Fairlane Credit, about a 1990 Ford Ranger. I don’t own a 1990 Ford Ranger, never have. Turns out they’re looking for Mt h man, and not Mt g man. So I tell them they have the wrong number. They keep calling for two months, mostly while I’m at work, and they won’t listen to my wife at all when she says there is no Mthman at that number, and never has been. Apparently she wasn’t forceful enough. One day I was at home either sick or on vacation when they called. I made them give me a supervisor who, are you ready for this, told me he couldn’t delete my number. The system wouldn’t let him have a record without a number in it. I told him I didn’t care if he put his number in there, but if I heard from them again they would be hearing from an attorney.
Never heard from them again.
But that’s not the good part.
A couple years, and a household move, later. I get a call.
“Hello, Steven? This is Dad.”
:eek: At this point my dad has been dead for twelve years.
“This is Dad.”
“Steven Wrong-Middle-Name Lastname?”
“Ah, nope. Not that guy. Heard he bailed on his truck loan though. Looks like that’s not all he bailed on. I hope you have more luck finding him than the collection agency did.”
I think my phone number belonged to a deadbeat before I got it. I routinely get collection calls on it after almost two years with it. They’re certainly not calling for me because I don’t use the line for anything. Some of the more obnoxious calls left an 800 number to call and didn’t stop until I called it to tell them they have the wrong number. Those have stopped now.
I’ve had this happen a few times. Every single time, it’s because my deadbeat sister has given my name as a reference, without my knowledge or consent. I just return the call and tell them that I did not consent to my sister giving my name as a reference, to stop calling me, and that I am not responsible for her debts, period. So far it’s worked on the first try every time.
We had trouble with this a while back. Apparently some guy with my husband’s fairly common first and last name checked a phone book and gave our address as his own to the navy just before he went AWOL.
Check your credit report to be sure it’s not anything terrible.
We think that’s what happens with Mr. Kat periodically - the debtor’s first name is a common nickname derived from Mr. Kat’s name, and the same last name. We sometimes get personal mail for him too - wedding invitations, photos, that kind of thing.
Same here. The number we got when we moved here seems to be on many lists, but they have pretty much tapered off to only once in awhile. It’s always for the same asshole though. I’d sure like to be able to tell them where he is.
The person they are looking for at my number is usually our son’s ex-wife, who owes many creditors. She apparently has been giving our number out as recently as last fall. :mad: I recently sent her a message saying that if she didn’t stop I’d take legal action.
I don’t know if there is actually anything I can do, but maybe she doesn’t know that.
Or like we have been saying, she has a neighbor who they are looking for. And note that today, there’s a number of scamster “collection agencies” who try to collect old no longer valid or even paid off debts.