Call from collection agency

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I won't answer my phone if I don't know who's calling. That's what voice mail is for. I checked my phone on my lunch break and saw I had a voicemail. It was a woman who said she was looking for my son and he had given my name and number as a an emergency contact. I called the number back and spoke with the woman. I asked her why she was wanting to contact my son, she would not answer. I told her to take my name and number off of their database. I Googled the number and sure enough it's a collection agency.
That's the last thing I want is to have collection agency's calling me trying to find my son.


Active Member
I've had them too. And letters and when I gave them to my daughter (to whom they belong) she threw them in the garbage. So now she has bad credit and can't get an apt. She wants me to sign for it and now won't speak to me when I said no. Is this for real or a bad dream?


Active Member
We also screen our calls.

About six months ago we received an itemized bill from a hospital out of state. We called the hospital and were told they could not give out much info due to privacy issues, but we were listed as responsible for the bill. We finally found out who the patient was from other relatives, called them for an explanation, we were told it was an error on the hospital billing dept. Yeah, I don't think so, nice try, lol. The person having the surgery makes more a year than we do combined. The hospital had to be given our address, phone number, etc, they didn't just dream it up.

About three weeks ago we started receiving phone calls at 6AM, all day long, stopped at midnight. We wrote the number down and researched it. It's a collection agency. After a week of never ending calls all day and late into the night we blocked the number. Trying to talk to them with explanations of we are not responsible for this individual's unpaid bills didn't work.

It is very annoying that someone can list you as a contact without your permission and suddenly a collection agency tries to squeeze you for the money when the person doesn't pay. This individual also makes more a year than we do lol!

The only thing that made me feel better about the situations, they were not my child's drama for a change lol!


Well-Known Member
We get them, too. I don't usually answer.

The best call I got was a collection agency looking for my brother's first wife. They've been divorced probably 30 years, and I wasn't living in this house nor married to Hubby at the time, but I am somehow listed as a "known associate" of hers. After that call, I Googled her. She's living in her parents' house and is a high school teacher here in town. The collection agency must not be looking in the right places.


Crazy Cat Lady
I have a woman who's first name is the same as mine except for one letter; she has the same middle initial and the same last name. Better yet, the first 5 digits of her SS# are identical to mine.

She first showed up on my credit report shortly after my husband reported to his first duty station in 82. Every few years, her records get merged with mine. She has HORRIFIC credit! I checked my FICO scores today while paying my bills and noticed a 175 pt drop<!>. I promptly called the three agencies and found out that this time she had only been merged into one agency's report. They went back through nearly 40 years of history and found the many times this has happened. This time I didn't have to wait for them to send me paperwork to contest the entries, etc.. They removed them while I was on the phone, and said they will send an update to my creditors. Hopefully the correction will propagate through their systems before everyone pulls FICO scores for Nov.

Otherwise I'm going to have hassles with interest increases and possible credit line decreases.

What annoys me the most about this is that this started in 82, back when credit records were kept in paper files. It should've been caught when the agencies computerized and those paper files were entered into the databases. Instead digitalization just made it easier for the error to recur every time databases are purged and updated.

All I know about this woman is that she has defaulted on cars, mortgages, credit cards, and personal loans. I also know her name and that she was born in the same neighborhood in Chicago on the same day and year I was.

So...check your scores OFTEN. If anything weird shows up, get with the angencies ASAP. Usually errors can be fixed. I worked very hard to work my way up to the excellent credit scores I have today, and I get very upset when I see a huge drop in my scores.

Make sure your children check records as well, estranged parents can steal children's identities. It happens all the time.

Also check legal records. When I went to rent my apt, a pot bust from 78 that had been expunged from my record showed up on the criminal background check. Took paying a lawyer to get that re-expunged. Luckily, I was still able to rent here.


Well-Known Member
I have a woman who's first name is the same as mine except for one letter; she has the same middle initial and the same last name. Better yet, the first 5 digits of her SS# are identical to mine.

I had a similar issue with a client many years ago when I was practicing law. There were two men with the same, rather unusual, name, I think maybe different middle initials. They lived in the same small town, had SSN's 1 digit different. One was an upstanding business man. The other was basically, a criminal loser type. Poor upstanding business man was constantly having problems, even almost got arrested once on a warrant for the other guy.


Crazy Cat Lady
I never had warrant troubles, though did have trouble registering to vote when I first moved from Chicago to N. WI, because this other woman is a convicted felon and hence cannot vote. My registration info is stored in a special section of the registration database that requires a supervisor to access. I have to wait everytime I go to vote for a supervisor to sign into this secured section, and re-verify my ID. Given the political situation WI, vs. my personal politics, it makes me nervous every time.

Interestingly, I never once had problems getting a fishing license, and hunting and fishing licenses are something else that convicted felons are not allowed in this state. I'm curious as to whether I'd be allowed to purchase a handgun, but have no desire to have on (personal reasons) so haven't tried.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
@GoingNorth , that is crazy that you have had to deal with that.

So...check your scores OFTEN. If anything weird shows up, get with the angencies ASAP.
So true!
I remember when my son was about to be released from prison and he told me that in order for him to be release he needed my SS#. I called the prison just to double check and they said that would never be a requirement for release and also to never give that info to my son. One really bad thing about my son being in jail so many times is he learned how to be a "better" criminal. The prison staff told me that this is a common ploy and they will either use the info themselves or sell it but the end result is the same in that they will open credit cards and will ruin your credit.

Something else that people can do to help protect their credit is to put a lock on your credit with the three reporting agencies. If anyone were ever to try and get a credit card with my info they would be stopped as soon as a credit check is run. I am the only one who has the access code to unlock my credit.

Snow White

On the Mad Tea Party Ride
I feel for you. We had every cell phone company calling to collect on daughter's unpaid phone contracts. Unbelievable. We told them she didn't live her anymore and to stop calling. They eventually did. I imagine she has no viable credit score right now.


Crazy Cat Lady
I am still finding out just what kind of horrible deadbeats the last two former tenants of my apartment were: I am constantly getting dunning letters and legal stuff addressed to them. One collection agency somehow figured out how to connect MY phone number to this address and started calling me, asking for one of the former tenants.

I kept telling them that he no longer lived at this address, I had no idea who he was or where he was, and to please quit calling me. I had to threaten legal action to get them to stop.

Living up North beat this, though. The former owner of my trailer had been in the Army Reserve. Come a knock at my door at 9 at night and there are 2 MPs and a Sheriff's Deputy on my stoop...former owner's unit had been activated and he hadn't shown up for the muster and therefore was AWOL. He'd been gone long enough that he was a deserter by then.

I'd been living in the trailer for a couple of years by then. Apparently this asshat hadn't updated his address with his command when he sold the trailer.


I once had a collection agency think I was someone else, and they wouldn't believe me.

I reported the number...constantly told them wrong number, they were verbally threatening and abusive.

I reported t he number..couldn't get company, but had to c change my was irritating and upsetting that I had to deal with it.

I hope never again...have had my current number for awhile.


Crazy Cat Lady
I feel for you. We had every cell phone company calling to collect on daughter's unpaid phone contracts. Unbelievable. We told them she didn't live her anymore and to stop calling. They eventually did. I imagine she has no viable credit score right now.

Either cell phone companies/resellers don't check credit anymore, or they have very low standards. I was very lucky that I already had an active contract when I first moved up North.

My credit was so bad with the fresh bankruptcy and foreclosure that I couldn't open a checking account.

My phone was with Verizon and the only service with decent coverage was Altel. Altel didn't want to open an account for me until I begged them to call Verizon to verify my payment record with them over several years.

Once Altel spoke with Verizon, they were willing to open a basic account for me.

I dealt with abusive collectors both before and immediately after the bankruptcy. Abusiveness, calling if asked not to call again, threatening, calling at work, calling and threatening relatives not listed as contacts, etc, are all illegal, as is calling more than once per day and calling outside of business hours.


Roll With It
I thought I was the only one with similar problems. Years ago when my records were computerized with the dept of motor vehicles, they put my date of birth in without typing the zeros for the month and date. When I moved to another state, my records were to reenew my license on 9-9-99. When typed without the zeros and dashes, it was a universal computer delete code. So I got a license, a physical one, but my driving records, the whole thing, was deleted. I got pulled over for a taillight out and when they ran my license, it didn't exist.

It caused me a lot of money and a huge mess, including being arrested for driving without a license. I finally had to be sent to a diversion program for a judge to throw the arrest out and tell the DMV to recreate my record. It was all expunged, but it took seven trips to court, a ton of stress and embarrassment, and a lot of mess for no good reason. The judge chewed ME out for the 'hassle' and then realized that I didn't do anything.

I still cannot go to the DMV without fighting a panic attack. I had horrible experiences with them in OH, and while they are very nice here, the reaction still happens.

Oddly enough, I went to school with a boy who had the same birthdate. He had almost the exact same thing happen to him back in 1999. He had even more problems because the judge he saw wasn't understanding the situation.

As for collection agencies, tell them that if they continue to call you, you will report them to the FCC. Tell them that they can only contact you in writing and then if they call, look up the number to the FCC and report them. Usually this results in HUGE fines for the collection agencies, so often it is enough to back them off totally. We had a problem with one years ago and this was the only way to get them to stop calling.