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Creditors who keep calling the wrong number: Is this legal?

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Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:17 PM
Original message
Creditors who keep calling the wrong number: Is this legal?
Edited on Fri Jan-16-09 05:20 PM by Mike 03
For eight years I have been receiving calls, almost daily, for someone who used to have this number but no long has it. This is someone I've ever met, never heard of.

For many years I answered these calls and patiently said all of the above: I don't know this person, she used to have this number, please stop calling every day.

At this point, I'm tempted to just tell these people that I AM this person (even though I'm male and she's female) just to find out what the heck this person owes money on.

Also, it would point out the ridiculousness of them calling me many times every day and asking me if I'm "Bernice", when I am clearly male. In other words, I want to lead them on, make them feel stupid, make fun of them, find out more about this mysterious deadbeat who used to have my number, etc...

I'm in the mood to fight back. Eight years is long enough to be patient with complete morons.

(On Edit :)

"Yes, yes, this is Bernice. Oh, do I owe money to you? My Lord, how much? What was it for? Oh, dear, how can I make it all right..."

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Yes We Did Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is what you do.
Edited on Fri Jan-16-09 05:26 PM by demdog78
Get the person's name.
Get the person's phone number.
Get the Company name.

Tell them that they have the wrong number and that if they call you again, you are going to file a police report against them and call your state's attorney general, along with the better business bureau and file reports with all of them.

If they call again, do it.

edit: Oh, and this is important, make sure you tell them that you are going to file the report against them personally along with the company. (just remember to get THEIR name first.)
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. oh you are no fun. That is good advice though. My #'s previous owner was a lawyer
I kept getting messages left on my phone, even though it was obviously not a lawyer (hi, it's uppity and uppity kid, leave us a message). Someone finally left their return # and I called back, asked them to please spread the word that this was no longer LawyerX's number.
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Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Okay, but that's not very much fun. NT
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Yes We Did Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Alright... Tell them that it IS you.
And then try to sell them some amway or avon or something. Or, be really polite and tell them that you actually have the money but just don't feel like paying them. Just antagonize them that way.

Is that more fun?
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. haha! Try this one!
Ring!

Hello, is this Stephahnie ****?

No, sorry, you must have the wrong number.

What??? This is Stephanie **** in Ohio, right?

Ummmm,no, and this is actually North Carolina you are calling.

What, did you change your name???

Kid you not. Real call. Seriously. I couldn't make it up.
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Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. That sounds like a good one. Thanks. NT
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Eight fucking years?
Think I would have changed the number about 7 and a half years ago.

Don
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Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Yeah, actually, it became an obsession with me for awhile.
I was keeping records and cross-referencing the "different" phone numbers and they all were from the same company (thanks to caller I.D., I could figure this out). In retrospect, I wasted a lot of time on this. But one thing it taught me was patience, which I was short on.

But enough is enough. I want to get rid of these idiots, but I want to have some fun in the process.

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. They're either really dense
Or Berniece is still using what is now your phone number on applications and such. I agree with the person who said you should start asking questions of the callers. Get their names, their outfit, their supervisor's name, and so forth. Ask to speak to the supervisor. Where are they located, where are they incorporated, and on and on. If they decline to answer, go back to the question after you exhaust your list of questions.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
27. Use the idea in this phone call
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Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. And Frankly, I'm curious as hell about "Bernice." What is her story? NT
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Try this:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. They'll ring your phone off the hook. My late mother's creditors are after me. nt
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. You DO know that you are not responsible in any
way for her debts unless you co-signed them or were a joint account holder, right? The collectrolls know that you aren't responsible, they are just being their usual sleazy self and taking advantage of the fact that most people are vulnerable at such a time and that they also don't know debt collection laws. Only her estate is responsible, period. Tell them to file a claim with her estate and if they call you again, you'll report them.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Yes, I know, so I'm ignoring them. They call and write any way. nt
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Send each of them certified written requests
to cease and desist. By law, they must comply. And advise the attorney handling her estate, if there is one, so that he can deal with them. And be sure and check your own credit reports, because I wouldn't put it past these fuckers to put your mother's debts on there.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. I used to have a company that does water sealing for basements call me several times
a week wanting to come give me a "free" inspection. I kept telling them I don't have a basement, still they called. So one day I said ok sure set me up an appointment, the company is located about 50-75 miles north of me, so when they got here I told them, now go look for yourself because you obviously don't believe me! They haven't called since. :evilgrin:
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. Bwahaha! Now that's funny!
:thumbsup:
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. LOL nt
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
13. it would take some guts...and practice...
but here is the way you handle these guys...

http://www.snotr.com/video/1166

A little lengthy but funny as hell...

sP

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. ROFLMAO!
OMG, that is beyond hilarious! How the "callee" ever kept a straight-face composure is beyond me.
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. there is a little homophobia at the end i forgot to mention
but the part up until the last moment is a riot!

sP
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shintao Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. This is what you do!!
Edited on Fri Jan-16-09 05:43 PM by shintao
Just go to the FCC & register your phn #. If a person does answer the calls - opposed to recording - tell them you are registered and will report them to the FCC & sue if they call again. If calls persist, contact your telephone carrier and follow their program for prank calls. This IDs the phone number they call from, & gives you a record of these calls. The FCC will sit on them, but if they don't, the telephone #s can be blocked by phone company, or you can sue in small claims court & make them come to you in front of a judge. http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/donotcall /

Oh, they are prolly trying to contact me!!! LMAO!!
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. I have someone calling here for Bernice too!!!!
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Believing Is Art Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
18. No, but they don't care
I got a cell phone a few years back, and my number belonged to "Holly" who must have been in massive debt. I received 10-20 calls per day. I was on my family's plan while at school, so I didn't even live in the same state, much less the area code I'd been given. I had no idea who "Holly-in-Debt" was. I explained this to the creditors and asked them to remove me from their call list. It didn't work. I had to keep my phone on silent almost all the time. I got to the point where I just refused to carry it with me. At some point I got a backbone and asked to speak to the callers' managers and threatened to file a complaint with the BBB. It made no difference. They all told me that unless I could provide them with "Holly-in-Debt's" new number, they would continue to call me. I did a stint as a debt collector in high school so I knew this wasn't legal, and I told them that. They didn't care. Finally, I asked my provider for a new number. They usually charge, but they agreed I was being harassed so they waived the fee. Probably to cover their asses for giving me a number so recently in circulation.

The new number was a bit more fun. The best I can gather is it belonged to some guy who had his phone stolen and who was cheating on his girlfriend with some girl in high school. I never talked to the guy, but I talked to his brain-dead friends, the high school chick, and her dad. She called me about 50 times in one hour because she absolutely could not believe I didn't know this guy. Then her dad called me because he wanted to go off on the guy. He was actually pretty apologetic when I explained this wasn't his number anymore and I didn't know why his daughter kept calling me. Then a month later this guy's friends call me to accuse me of stealing his cell phone. I asked them if he canceled the account after it was stolen. They said yes. So I explained to them it was then at the cell phone provider's discretion to randomly assign this number to a different account, and that I'd purchased my cell phone new from the provider. They didn't quite grasp this concept . . .

So unless you're ready to actually file complaints or suits against these creditors, you're going to have to live with the calls or get a different number. They don't care about the law.
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ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
21. the exact same thing has been happening to me for almost 2 yrs now
whenever I see an 800 # on caller ID, I just ignore it. Day after day, a computer leaves msgs for "Timothy Ferrar." Many times the message is "This message is for Timothy Ferrar. If you are not Timothy Ferrar, do not listen to this messgage. (click)" I kid you not.

I have run every number through Google and have turned up all sorts of scumbag collection agencies. There are many websites now comparing notes on 800 annoyance calls.

I have been looking and looking for some kind of gadget I can disconnect these callers with, or re-route them, or block them (since my stupid phone co. does not offer call blocking). I did have a Telezapper for a while but it malfunctioned and started making this loud pulsing gong noise on my line. The closest I can find is a so-called Phone Butler or some such, which instructs callers to press 1 to ring through, which leaves computer-dialed calls out.

I guess the best thing is to just check the caller ID and let the phone ring without answering. I have never answered one of these calls and can only wonder how they can afford to call someone for 2 years with no answer.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
23. I get phone calls for someone with my same initial and last name
I tell them I'm not Beverly, don't know Beverly, and not to call.

They left numerous messages for her. I called the law firm and told them I don't know her,etc. The calls from that law firm stopped and I had no more for several months. Then apparently the account was sold to another collection agency and they started all over again.

My brother-in-law, a lawyer, told me to get the name of the agency and the address and send them a certified cease and desist letter if the calls did not stop.

You can find canned C&D letters at www.creditboards.com and a lot of other information about dealing with agencies, how to sue, etc.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-16-09 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
28. I once had a repo man show up at my house looking for a previous tenant.
And for three years after moving here I was getting phone numbers for deadbeats who had the number before I did.

There must be a lot of people around here running from their creditors.
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