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How do I get rid of these debt collectors?!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
First to make it clear: I don't owe anyone any money. I have one credit card I pay on time every month, and all my other bills are fine too.

But this woman (I know her name too) uses my phone number over and over again as her contact number. I remember opening a thread on this last time it got bad, and a lot of that advice worked for a while.

Here is what I have done:
-talked to my phone company, there's pretty much nothing they can do
-just not answer unrecognized numbers... this results in dozens of voicemails.
-try to talk to the collections agencies.

This is the worst. She has some serious people after her, including a private eye from Florida. The collections agencies won't believe that I don't know her. When I try to call them back, they say they can't access the file, or they just hang up on me-- which is what just happened. I said "I have someone who tries to use my phone number, her name is----" hang up.

Also, I don't know how much she owes but there are at any given time several different agencies calling. They don't abide by the law either, they call at all hours, sometimes dozens of times a day, sometimes every five minutes.

Short of filing a police report (fat lot of good that would do me) does anyone know how to stop these shenanigans?
post #2 of 27
Start recording them and tell them you are going to report them to the FTC for breaking the law. Go get a digital mini-recorder that's voice activated and do it.* Give them heck right back.

* I realize you are a college student and are therefore... well... poor. Go to a pawn shop. That's the best way to find them for next to nothing.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Speaking of which, they just called again. The woman said "Oh, I guess it's a wrong number, I'll make sure it gets removed"

She sounded considerably less than enthusiastic, and I only 25% believe her.

She also wouldn't give me an answer when I asked how I could get them to stop calling.

If I ever meet *** *** I am going to rip her hair out!
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Start recording them and tell them you are going to report them to the FTC for breaking the law. Go get a digital mini-recorder that's voice activated and do it.* Give them heck right back.

* I realize you are a college student and are therefore... well... poor. Go to a pawn shop. That's the best way to find them for next to nothing.
Ooooh I hadn't thought of that. I think there's a way to do that with my phone that has a built in recorder, and is bluetooth enabled so I think I could get the files onto my computer. (After my field methods linguistics class, I've had to do all sorts of crazy things with recorded voices' files).
post #5 of 27
Geesh how annoying! I hope you get rid of them soon
post #6 of 27
Well when I had a crazy x that kept calling me... I would change my number... and then he'd get it again... then I'd change it again... ect.... LOL

But eventually it worked!
post #7 of 27
Why can you not get your phone number changed?
post #8 of 27
When my s/o's ex looney wife was giving out OUR number to HER debt collectors, we were harrassed beyond belief, too. I feel your pain. We tried EVERYTHING to stop the madness, but no one would listen: all they cared about was getting their money - money which we didn't owe. It was horrifying! Finally, out of sheer desperation, we had our phone number changed to a non-publised number. We really didn't want to change it, but it was worth it b/c we at least got our peace back..

You may not want to go that route, but believe me - it's worth it! Creditors don't really care just whom they get their money from - just as long as they get it. You can tell them till you're blue in the face that you're not the person who's responsible for the debt, but they don't hear you.

Just a suggestion. I hope you'll be able to get the mess straightened out soon.

~KK~
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yea, I've never even met this woman, and I wanna throttle her til they get their money too!

I reeeeeeally don't want to change my phone number... it's unpublished and on the do-not call list, I have 0 problems with telemarketers, it's my cell phone. It's been my number since I was 18, and lots of old friends have it that I don't have much way of contacting (of course, I guess I probably don't really need to if we haven't talked in this long...). Mainly, though, my family all has similar phone numbers and I'd like to keep it. Like, we're all (123)123-xxxx with only the last four different.

I suppose I might change it, though if I do I want to wait until September when I move to Philadelphia.
post #10 of 27
I don't know if they ever call from restricted numbers but if you call your phone company they can probally block all restricted calls ... it might help a little
post #11 of 27
I can't help with getting them to stop. The only thing I can think of for that is changing your number.

But for keeping your number, I have my phone set to a distinctively different ring for "unknown" numbers. When we lived in Iowa I kept getting political calls. The different ring told me I didn't have to answer.

For at night you could turn off your ringer if possible. Then they wouldn't wake you up.
post #12 of 27
Do any of these callers identify the company they are calling from?? They should according to law. When I worked for a major finance company there are strict laws regarding times they can call and the type of language that can be used-no swearing for instance.
Are you on good terms with your bank-the reason is you could approach them to find out some of the laws/rules of debt collecting so you have some knowledge next time someone calls looking for her.

If you do get the company name I would google it and it there is a website find out about their PR dept or Customer Service dept-contact them and explain the situation.
If you inform them you are going to make a fuss on this issue they should co-operate.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Start recording them and tell them you are going to report them to the FTC for breaking the law. Go get a digital mini-recorder that's voice activated and do it.* Give them heck right back.

* I realize you are a college student and are therefore... well... poor. Go to a pawn shop. That's the best way to find them for next to nothing.


Someone was trying to collect money from my mother because she happened to have the same last name as someone who owed money(?) In this case, the collection notice came in the mail after several phone calls. (Her contact info was not private at the time.)

My mom wrote back and told them that she was not the person they were looking for, that she would not be paying any money as they could not furnish her with any proof that she owed money, and that a complaint was filed with the local police department and therefore all further communications should be in writing. I think she also filed a complaint with FTC, but I don't quite recall.

After she let them know all of this, they stopped calling.

How annoying, if I were in your shoes I'd probably want to give the woman a good shaking!
post #14 of 27
I'd file a police report and then change my phone number. Make sure it's unlisted!
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Do any of these callers identify the company they are calling from?? They should according to law. When I worked for a major finance company there are strict laws regarding times they can call and the type of language that can be used-no swearing for instance.
Are you on good terms with your bank-the reason is you could approach them to find out some of the laws/rules of debt collecting so you have some knowledge next time someone calls looking for her.

If you do get the company name I would google it and it there is a website find out about their PR dept or Customer Service dept-contact them and explain the situation.
If you inform them you are going to make a fuss on this issue they should co-operate.
Filing a police report and advising them of the incident number of that report may help too. It's unlikely that you would be filing a police report on yourself
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
That's not a bad idea to file a police report I guess.

Do I file it here, where I live, or in Cleveland, where she lives? What will it do?

One of the main problems with filing complaints and such is that there are a multitude of companies, and as soon as one gets the message and quits calling there are 5 more. None of the individual companies get too out of line (though there was one, but I demanded to speak to the supervisor of the supervisor's supervisor until they stopped too), it is now more a matter of the number of companies resulting in the dozens of calls rather than just one company calling over and over like it used to be.

It had calmed down a bit, too. Now it's getting worse again.
post #17 of 27
Here is some information from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Quote:
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Looking at the site, you may have to send them something in writing stating that you are not the person they are looking for and to stop calling.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
That's not a bad idea to file a police report I guess.

Do I file it here, where I live, or in Cleveland, where she lives? What will it do?

One of the main problems with filing complaints and such is that there are a multitude of companies, and as soon as one gets the message and quits calling there are 5 more. None of the individual companies get too out of line (though there was one, but I demanded to speak to the supervisor of the supervisor's supervisor until they stopped too), it is now more a matter of the number of companies resulting in the dozens of calls rather than just one company calling over and over like it used to be.

It had calmed down a bit, too. Now it's getting worse again.


You file it where you live and the police take it from there. What she is doing is considered fraud.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Here is some information from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act



Looking at the site, you may have to send them something in writing stating that you are not the person they are looking for and to stop calling.
I filed a complaint on the website just saying it would be nice if there were a way to tell them all at once that's I'm not her and to stop calling me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
You file it where you live and the police take it from there. What she is doing is considered fraud.
Probably will do so Thursday when I get time to go to the police.

Would it be better to do Columbus Police or campus police?
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I filed a complaint on the website just saying it would be nice if there were a way to tell them all at once that's I'm not her and to stop calling me.



Probably will do so Thursday when I get time to go to the police.

Would it be better to do Columbus Police or campus police?
I would file with the Columbus Police first. I'm not sure if the campus police can do much.

I know at least my cell provider, Verizon, you can keep your number when you move to another state. I still have my old number, even though I live in CA. You just change the account address. If you want to keep the #?
post #21 of 27
If you have a Samsung handset (for your cell phone) they can restrict who calls you. Its in the settings somewhere (I know because I used to have a Samsung) All you do is just add everyone in your phonebook into your 'restricted' list and anyone else who calls you will get either a number error or it will sound like the number has been disconnected!
post #22 of 27
We have a similar situation.

Dh's brother put our phone number down as a contact on several loans. Apparently they could/would not pay them. I can't tell you how many times we've had phone calls from collectors looking for dh's brother. And it's REALLY annoying. I'd love to say something to him (dh never did). They don't live anywhere near us, we never see them anyhow. I can count on 1 hand the amount of times they've been out here, we've lived in this area 16 YEARS- but that's another story in itself. So I don't want to tick them off, so we've never said anything to them about the collection calls.

Lately we've been getting calls from this company that collects really old debts. I've just been ignoring the calls b/c I never got any kind of letter in the mail saying they were going to call us. I'm figuring they're probably looking for dh's brother (again).

My main concern about all this is MY (and dh's) credit history. We've never been late on anything. And I'm trying to pay for school with Stafford loans, and I would be MAD if something dh's brother did messed up MY education (which I intend on finishing)
post #23 of 27
We contacted our State's Attorney General and filed a complaint- it worked wonders. I seriously doubt the police can do anything about it, but the Attorney General can.
post #24 of 27
I would probably make a police report (just to be able to say you did it) they may be able to contact the lady and make her stop. The problem I had with my DH's cousin is he put my phone number down as the contact number because he didn't have a phone. My voicemail would fill up and when I would check it, it wouldn't even be for me! I finally just got sick of the voicemail problem and with Alltel you can get something called "Voice to Text" the people calling you that leave voicemails still leave them, but they show up as text messages which is considerably easier to check, that way I dont have to answer the phone to them, but I still get the message that was left just in case it wasn't really for him! Its so much easier to read the message than to have to listen to all the crud on voicemail and go through all the different prompts and stuff! Now I just get the messages as text messages, NEVER have to check my voicemail, and every word of what they say is written in the text message! It at least relieves some of the frustration that goes along with it!
post #25 of 27
I'd get an air horn http://www.safetycentral.com/safsounair.html and tell them you are about to blast them---then DO IT. I doubt it would take more than once or twice.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pee-cleaner View Post
I'd get an air horn http://www.safetycentral.com/safsounair.html and tell them you are about to blast them---then DO IT. I doubt it would take more than once or twice.
LOL! Now that's something I should do when they call for me.
post #27 of 27
I work for a collection agency, So here is some advice Stop calling them, inform them in writeing that You are not this person and that if they contact you for any purposes related to this person from this time forward that you will be speeking to a lawyer

Put the person's name that they have been calling
Clearly state it is your phone number and that it is NOT hers
And You may want to quote some of the US Harrasment laws pretaining to harrasment on a collection basis, You may also want to have it witnessed by a certified individual like a Legal Aid or Police official.
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