What to do about collectors constantly calling my phone number for a debtor who has no connection to me.

by Kirk
(Sun Prairie, WI, USA)

Apparently a debtor has been using my home phone number on her credit applications. She must often default because I have been getting numerous calls from collection agents asking for this person who seems to be always using the same first name, but several last names have been used. I have asked the various agents to please remove my number from their lists but to no avail. I have had the same phone number for over 20 years so it's not possible that the debtor used to have the number. The volume of calls is starting to feel like harrassment, but the collection agents all say that the debtor gave my phone number and so they have the right to call it. I have asked for the details, the clients they're representing, etc. so that I can try to straighten out the records and possibly find the debtor that is using my phone number. Is there legal action I can take to get this problem resolved? It's not exactly identity theft but the hassle and aggravation are very tiresome. After reading articles about debtors suing collection agencies I'm tempted to pursue that, however not being the debtor I probably have no such option. Any advice will be very much appreciated!

Comments for What to do about collectors constantly calling my phone number for a debtor who has no connection to me.

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Oct 17, 2012
collection calls for someone else
by: Anonymous

It is not possible to get a new number and not get debt collectors calling you for a debt that is not you. It is a very bad problem and something legally needs to be done, like a class action suite naming multi debt collecting agencies.

According to my research they have gone rogue in the last couple of years and the FTC is finally taking a look at what is going on.

I do not feel I should be getting these types of phone calls at all. Nor do I feel I should have to take the time to talk to them, which they are nasty when you do, take the time to write letters and spend the money to send letters to make then stop calling when I am not the one who owes the debit, period!

The FTC is finally taking a look at debit collectors, get a class action suit going. I had to have my last number changed because the calls were so bad for Felipi Aldacto bad debits and now the new number I got I am getting calls for someone else's bad debits again and it had been out of service for 6 months, this absolutely should not be happening.

Jul 27, 2010
How I stopped mistaken ID calls from nasty debt collectors
by: Anonymous

To keep these people from calling, get phonetrayfreee from cnet.com.

This is a great free program
- load on your computer
- connect a phone line to your computer modem (can be done with a line splitter)
- run phonetrayfree (it will pop up in the background, when a call is received)
- add any telephone number you want to block
- add any groups of numbers you want to block, e.g. block all calls coming from the Buffalo, NY area code of 716. Buffalo is the debt collection and scam headquarters of the world now that all the honeymooner hotels and steel mills have closed, the debt collection and scam call industry took root there. Many deceitful calls come out of the 716 area code.

Tip: If you get a call you don't recognize, look it up in 800notes.com . If it is a debt collector or scammer (it's getting hard to tell the difference), simply block the call using phonetrayfree.

I was getting many calls from debt collectors who thought I was someone else. (Person with a similar name.) I received many threats, including one death threat. Some collectors said they had filed papers in court, which, of course, would be retracted if I just sent them money. Another collector called early one Saturday morning, and woke me up saying that big guys were on their way to my house. I told him that they better bring bigger guns than mine because they would be dead if they set foot on my property. Other debt collectors threatened to have me arrested, unless, of course, I sent them money immediately.

These types of calls went on for two years, from different debt collectors, who had misidentified me as their target. (Some of these calls were from big name so-called legitimate debt collectors, e.g., Portfolio Recovery Associates.) On every call, I told them that their skiptrace had failed and they were contacting the wrong person. For periods of time they would call five or six times a day.
Finally, I got phonetrayfree. Now I just look up the number in 800notes.com, see that it is a nuisance call and then zap the number with phonetrayfree. It’s so very simple.

Though I have never missed paying a bill in my life, I have grown to absolutely loath debt collectors and their tactics. These are the most rude and most sub-human species I have ever come across. I wish them and their lot all the worse. The FDCPA, FTC, and ACA have failed to reel them in. Hopefully, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will be able to get control over the renegade debt collection industry that is causing so much harm to so many.

Jul 26, 2010
Constant calls from debt collectors
by: Mary

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

I had the same problem as you are having but lucky for me, I was able to stop the debt collectors' calls by explaining to them that they were calling the wrong number. Given that you've tried to do the same thing without success, I suggest that you send each collector a certified letter (return receipt requested) asking them to immediately cease calling your number because you do not owe the money they are trying to collect and because the number they are calling does not belong to the person they are trying to collect from. Keep a copy of each letter for your records.

Once the collectors receive your letters, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires them to stop calling you and so if their calls continue, they are breaking the law. If any of them do call you, let them now that they are violating the law and that you are going to contact a consumer law attorney about what they are doing. Your threat may be enough to convince them to back off. If not, We would strongly recommend you talk with a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Find out how to get a FREE consultation with a consumer law attorney here.

I also recommend that you download a copy of ourFree Debt Collection Worksheet. If any of the debt collectors call you after they've received your certified letters, record information about their calls on the worksheet. The worksheet information could be very helpful to your case if you end up suing any of the debt collectors.

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