So I had an odd experience of speaking with a scam debt collector today — this outfit (not sure what their name is) called my new home number. The phone call came from 1-866-332-6632.
They use the classic “scary message” about a file has been attached to your social security number and you need to call right away to discuss.
There is no such thing as a “file attached to your social security number” — that’s just an expression bogus debt collectors use.
So anyway I called them and the recording states they are a debt collector.
Told them I received a call from their number and didn’t know what it was about.
They looked it up and said it was a call for someone I know.
Seeing as we are living in a new house that we built, and the person they are looking for has never lived with us, I explained the person does not live with us.
They asked “Can you get the person a message?”
This violates the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) as a debt collector cannot ask a third party (anyone other than consumer or spouse) anything other than:
1. Home address of consumer 2. Home phone number of consumer 3. Place of employment of consumer.
These items are known as “location information” and you’ll notice there is nothing in the above list about giving a message.
Since the collector obviously didn’t mind breaking the law, I asked what it was about. At least I could figure out what’s going on.
“It’s a legal matter.”
OK — what legal matter?
“Sir, I can’t tell you.”
Well, you already told me you are a debt collector and who you are looking for.
“We are NOT debt collectors — this is pre-legal. Giver her a message.”
OK I guess she was done talking with me. 🙂
(I called back and surprisingly they would not talk to me — sent me to voicemail so I explained that they were never to call my home or cell phone again. If they do, I’ll sue them.)
The whole “Pre-legal” is another bogus term they use — it means nothing. Either the collector is suing or they are not.
The concept with these kinds of dishonorable debt collectors (who are unfair to the legit debt collectors who play by the rules) is to say things such as:
**attached to your social security **pre legal **a file is on our desk against you **bank fraud **legal action **etc.
It is to paint a picture that you are about to be arrested so you need to pay. Then they want payments by western union and they won’t give you a real physical address.
They won’t send you proof in the mail — they are terrified of using the mail to commit fraud as that takes it to a whole new level (mail fraud).
Best advice is normally to stay firm — tell them you won’t do anything until you get something in writing (not fax, not email) in the mail from them.
So that is my little adventure for today….
ps — if you are dealing with collectors — even the first contact — feel free to get with us and we can help you discover your rights as collectors often break the law. 205-879-2447.