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Has anyone ever had a debt collector call your phone about a debt that is owed by someone you don't know?
This is my story. Three years ago I gave my son his first cell phone. He gave out his new phone number to all his friends and was enjoying his new gift until about 2 months later when he started getting phone calls from collection agencies who were looking for some woman who we had never heard of.
Every Time he would get one of these calls he would either hand the phone to me or let it go to voicemail. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that I have answered at least 500 calls over the last 3 years that were all looking for this same woman and I have told them each and every time that they have the wrong number. Each time they tell me that they are removing his number from their "list" but, the calls keep coming.
Yesterday morning, his phone starts ringing while he was at school, I ignored it the first time and let it go to voicemail. 1 minute later it starts ringing again so I answered it and told them the same thing I have for three years and once again they reply that they are taking him off the list. I was nice about it. Then it rings again this morning. It's the same number as yesterday. This time I wasn't nice at all. In fact, my throat is sore from screaming at the douche on the other end of the phone.
I'm sick of this! Can anyone tell me how I can make it stop? I'm at the point to where I would actually take legal action against them. It's not my debt, I have no idea who the person is that they are looking for but, after 3 years of explaining this to them, it's clear that they just don't get it. You would think they would know they have the wrong number when they get his voicemail and hear the voice and name of an 11 year old boy and they are looking for a woman.
Does anyone have any advice or has anyone else had this problem?
This post was edited by ChillyBuck 16 months ago
Some info here
National President of the Sky is NOT Falling Club
It requires a little bit of work on your end but it's actually pretty simple. First, the do not call list does not apply to debt collectors. When they call again ask for a supervisor. Explain the situation and let the supervisor know that you want no more calls to the number and will be logging any future calls received. Getting an address for the agency and backing the conversation with a certified letter may be helpful but not absolutely necessary.
If they call again log the date/time/number and if you feel like answering the phone get the persons name. Turn the information over to the FTC and your states attorney general. No money required on your part, just a little time.
The problem is that these debts are often transferred around to different agencies and when that happens, if the new agency gets your number, you have to start the process all over again.
It may help to mention to the collection agency supervisor tgat their company is in violation of the FDCPA and TCPA should calls to the number continue.
A friend of mine had that same situation (do to re-use of numbers by cell providers). He has an unlimited plan, so didn't care about the minutes. So eventually, he went to this strategy.
Caller: We need to talk about you paying your debt.
Him: Oh I agree. There is way too much violence in hockey.
Caller: You need to pay your debt now!
Him: Those bastards playing soccer aren't any better. Did you know that there are more knee injuries to female soccer players than male football players every year. And don't even get me started on basketball players and finger injuries. It's like they don't even care if they have hands.
Caller: Listen, we're talking about the money you OWE US!
Him: That's right! It's all about the money. They don't care how bad those poor kids hurt their knee or finger or wrist. Have you ever had a turf toe...it hurts like hell. Man I can't imagine having to walk around with that kind of pain every day.
And that goes on until the caller hangs up.
When he has wrung all the fun out of that tactic. He starts in with:
Caller: Mr. Debtor?
Him: No, let me get him for you...just a minute.
He then puts the phone down and walks away. Eventually they hang up.
The key to both strategies is that collectors (the callers not the companies) get paid by results per hour. Collect more per hour on the phone, you earn more. So once they figure out you are wasting their time, will not address the topic they care about and are not intimidated...they move on.
It happened to me a several years ago. I got a cell phone and new phone number that previously belonged to a girl, I do not know, and must have owed a lot of money. I got phone calls every day for her from some collection agency. After a while I learned the phone numbers of the various agencies and quit answering. I was curious to see how long they would continue to call. Amazing they do eventually quit. It takes a while. You do sort of get a nice "I won" kind of feeling when they quit.
Great advice. Thanks.
baffling to me that you simply did not just change the number. It is a kid's phone afterall.
I know. I should have changed it as soon as it started. He's a popular little guy and now that he's had the same number for this long, he doesn't want it changed because that's the number that he's gave out for three years. He might just be a kid but he has more contact numbers than I have. And back then, when it first started, I would have never thought that three years later this would still be happening. I thought that if I explained it to the people who were calling, it would end and everyone would be happy. Wrong!
The only way to get them to stop calling is for you to write a letter to them and mail it to them certified mail, giving your name and phone number, telling them that they have been contacting the wrong individual and that you are asking them to immediately cease and desist all future contact to your phone number and address.
This is the only way to get these calls to stop. Asking them to remove you from their list (and them subsequently saying "Ok") is not binding and as you have seen, is not effective.
Additionally, the Do Not Call list does not apply to debt collections.
Lastly, the letter must be sent certified mail because they can otherwise claim they did not receive any letter. You have to understand that debt collections is a business and that they know the rules and laws. They will do anything in their power to try and continue collection activities against you or the person they mistakenly think you are, unless you send the above-mentioned letter certified mail, which legally binds them into compliance.
If they continue after you've done the above, they open themselves up to fines and legal action against them (and a possibly lawsuit from you).
Write the letter. Tell them to immediately cease and desist all further communications with you. Send it certified mail. Keep your receipt. The calls will stop.
If you have a friend who is a lawyer or know one that will write the letter for a minimal cost, you should do that on his letter head. Just make sure you can change the date and keep a copy so you can just copy, put a new date and send it. They will pay much more attention to something coming from a lawyer.
A lot of people never follow through with their threats so be prepared to contact others to do the work to stop it. It takes time. I got a cell phone and had to stop collections from calling me. It took three years but I have not received a call in 18 months.
I always tell them I'm interested and to get a manager.. then tell the manager and demand a case id and confirmation by them to be sent
Usually by then they have to comply
A little off the subject but: 6 years ago I lived an hour away from my brothers family. We just had a huge snow storm and the local paper showed an employee for the Kroger store trying to push carts through the snow into the store, he had the exact same name as my brother(our family name not very common). The employee was physically and professionally polar opposites of my brother. We thought it was funny, cut out the picture and saved it.
Turns out debt collectors were hounding my brother about about this guy's debts. When we saw my brother again, I gave him the picture. He told me about the calls, we figured this was probably the guy they were after. Let them know where to find him. It still took about a month, but he was their guy and the problem was solved.
Why not change your number?
I don't get it....why not change the number now? I mean who is your son, Justin Bieber or something? He can't be THAT popular that he can't give out a new number...
No, he's not Bieber. Thank God.
I could still change the number and he could just send out a text to all his friends with his new number. I guess it's just turned into a war now and I'm to hard headed to give up. It's me against the collection agency. They're winning.
He's getting a new phone for Christmas so I'm going to suggest switching numbers again at that time. He's fine with the calls. He's learned to to spot the numbers and doesn't answer them. I'm the one that has a problem with it.
I had something similar occur. The target had their phone forwarded to my phone. So they would call that person and it would get forwarded to me and no one was the wiser. How was i tracked down? I kept calling the accounting department at the agency everyday, several times a day and just told them I was calling them because they call me. They figured it out with the motivation.
I had a situation where I was being hassled by debt collector for a debt I personally did not owe. The debt was from a credit card that belonged to my Ex from 5 years prior. Because I would not give them her personal information, they kept calling and bugging me....4-5 times a day, every day. I finally researched on the Internet, contacted an Attorney Service that specializes in these types of situations, and 3 months later had a $1200.00 check in my hand for winning the harassment case. More importantly, the calls stopped about 3-4 days after the securing the attorney, and the attorney sending a cease order to the debt collector. Did not cost me a single dime....Good Luck!
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