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REAL WORLD WEDNESDAY!! Are You Getting Unwanted Phone Calls?? What To Do About Them…

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After receiving a call today, which was not answered … thought it might be of assistance to others who have been getting similar calls and what to do about them.

QUIT CALLING ME… I DON'T KNOW ANYONE NAMED "PIMP GIGGY"!

QUIT CALLING ME… I ALREADY TOLD YOU… I DON’T KNOW ANYONE NAMED “GIGGY JONES”!

First, never answer.  By answering, you have established that you are an actual live person.

The caller now has two options:  either keep calling or stop calling.

If you were polite and answered their first call…you’ve told them that you are NOT the person that they are trying to reach and you do NOT owe them any money… and even requested that they take you off of their call list, they will continue to call!  Why?  Because they do not believe you.  These people do not believe that you are not the person they are looking for.  They will badger you, even though you’ve told them that you are on the National “Do Not Call” Registry!  They do not care!

SURE I'LL GIVE YOU MY SS# AND ALL MY CC #… AND YOU PROMISE ME THAT YOU'RE GONNA SEND ME $777 MILLION???  OK!

SURE I’LL GIVE YOU MY SS# AND ALL MY CC #… AND YOU PROMISE ME THAT YOU’RE GONNA SEND ME $777 MILLION??? OK!

Because you answered their first call, they know that there is a real person at that number.  The spam caller/bot caller/debt collector will keep calling, hoping that someone will pick up again.  Do not answer.  The calls will lessen and will eventually stop… this process takes between four to six weeks.

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Today’s phone call was from a debt collector… probably looking for another person with a similar name.  What do you do if you were not aware of that “do not answer” first rule??   What do you do if you answered and explained that you are not the person they’re trying to find… and they continue to call???

Here’s what you could do:

  • Request they send a letter to identify the actual debt.  Once you receive the letter you need to send them a letter asking them to VALIDATE the debt.
  • 99.9% of the time they cannot validate the debt.
  • At that time they must stop calling you and remove their information from your credit report.
  • If they do not do this you have the right to sue them up to THREE times the amount they are asking for.

Here is a sample letter you can use to send them…  feel free to cut and paste!   NOTE:  This is NOT a legally binding letter nor is this site giving any legal advice… the following is a suggested response, which you can decide for yourself if you wish to use or not use.

Date

Your Name
Your Address
City, State Zip

Collection Agency
Collection Agency Address
City, State Zip

Re: Acct # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

To Whom It May Concern:

I am sending this letter to you in response to a notice I received from you on (date of letter). Be advised, this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

This is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully request that your office provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

Please provide me with the following:

•What the money you say I owe is for
•Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe
•Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe
•Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable
•Identify the ORIGINAL creditor
•Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account
•Show me that you are licensed to collect in my state… and
•Provide me with your license numbers and Registered Agent.

If your offices have reported invalidated information to any of the three major Credit Bureau’s (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion), said action might constitute fraud under both Federal and State Laws. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company or the company that you represent I will not hesitate in bringing legal action against you for the following:

•Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
•Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
•Defamation of Character

If your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and during such time all collection activity must cease and desist.

Also during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel. This includes any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.

If your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me immediately.

I would also like to request, in writing, that no telephone contact be made by your offices to my home or to my place of employment. If your offices attempt telephone communication with me, including but not limited to computer generated calls or correspondence sent to any third parties, it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communications with me MUST be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter.

This is an attempt to correct your records, any information obtained shall be used for that purpose.

Best Regards,

Your Signature

NOTE:  If there is a topic which you would like to see on “REAL WORLD” Wednesday, leave your suggestions in comments…

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17 comments on “REAL WORLD WEDNESDAY!! Are You Getting Unwanted Phone Calls?? What To Do About Them…

  1. This is GREAT, SH!! Thanks!!!!!!! I used to work for a collection attorney (ducking) and I thought I was pretty well-versed about the process of collections and debts, but this is all new to me!! My husband keeps getting calls from a collection agency that briefly mentions a weird sounding bank as the creditor. All of the facts don’t add up to us, and in frustration I just tell them to stop calling and send a Judgment if they’d like to. We have no assets to attach at this time and it’s for a measley amount anyway. I’ve asked for a breakdown of the supposed fees but they can’t even tell me who the original creditor is! C’mon! This is a good guide to go by and if they call again, I’m going to use it. Thank you so much!

    As for all of the other stupid calls (there have been so many since Christmas time!), I have learned to ignore them after I read that you said to so as much. At first I was answering these stupid bot calls and asking to be taken off of a fake do-not-call-list, but it sparked new calls. Ughhhhhh!

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    • Done, Christmas was when all my calls started, too. These were from non-English speaking people saying that I had been approved for a loan that of course I never requested. They said they would not stop calling unless I gave them a CC #. It got so bad they would call up to 10X/day. I even told them that the call was being recorded and forwarded to the federal authorities. My SIL had a brilliant idea……blow a whistle into the phone after you answer. It took just a couple of those whistle blowing incidents and all calls have stopped.

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      • SHfan: Good for you! I’m glad that the calls stopped! We got emails too and then they claim to deposit $$ into your bank account (they don’t though)…. It’s horrible. I always tell my husband that I can’t imagine what would happen to elderly people who believe this b.s.!!

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        • I agree with you….there should be a special area code for the elderly that can sort the good from the evil….or a whistle comes with the purchase of every phone.

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          • :) Good idea, but too many of them fall for this crap and they just begin giving away info. It’s horrible! I see it all the time here in this area–it’s prime for the elderly to be scammed here.

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  2. Awesome letter! Fortunately I have not had a problem like this, but I have two friends that have and it caused them a great deal of embarrassment as their employers were called. The debt collectors were trying to collect from the wrong people and caused my two friends pure hell. They actually ended up hiring lawyers and filed suit. Neither case has gone to court yet, but I expect the outcome to be in their favor. Damn debt collectors, ugh.

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  3. This is great advice. I don’t answer unrecognized calls;however I will for the sake of getting the ringing to stop answer and hang up. I probably shouldn’t do that either.

    Now Ms. SH can you splain please ObamaCare??? :) Bronze, Silver, Gold…decisions decisions.

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    • I’ll take a stab at that one.
      Bronze – not super expensive but totally crap coverage
      Silver – really kinda expensive and mostly crap coverage
      Gold – You need to sell your baby to pay it and it’s just crap

      Does that clear it up? ;-)

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    • Missing, unless you need the subsidy, you’re better off not going through the exchange. You will have access to many more doctors and hospitals if you’re not part of the exchange. Plus, your personal info will be more secure. Healthcare.gov does not secure your personal info. (Reported again as recently as today.)

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      • thanks hers…I was being sarcastic..ITA with your comments. I have no intention of going on the exchange. :)

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