What was this weird phone call?
March 17, 2008 7:16 PM Subscribe
Should I be concerned about the strange phone call I received today? Was it a creditor (looking for someone else) or a scam?
posted by Mael Oui to Law & Government (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For the past year and a half, I have been harrassed by creditors looking for a person who owes thousands of dollars. This person just happens to have my name (though with a different middle initial). I've learned enough about the person, including her mailing address(es) and the last four digits of her SSN. So far, this isn't a case of identity theft; the creditors seem to be looking to collect the money from anywhere. I have received phone calls from a ridiculous amount of creditors. Some of the phone calls have been pretty dubious (very shady, very unprofessional). Now, my sister, who lives in a different state, is receiving phone calls looking for this woman. In the past 9 months, I've started to receive letters from creditors. I've responded to all the correspondence, and I've disputed that I am the person who owns the debts. So far, none of the creditors have given me any problems after I dispute (either through the mail or over the phone).
QUESTION: Today I received a phone call in the afternoon. I should say that I loathe talking on the phone, and I'm TERRIBLE at it. I know that I should always demand the person to identify themselves, and I really don't know how to conduct myself well over the phone at all. The woman who called did not identify herself or the company she works for (if indeed she was calling on behalf of a company), and simply asked, 'Is 'Jane' there?' (say, my name is 'Jane Doe' for this particular question). I said 'yes.' There was a long pause, and then she asked, 'Oh, are you 'Jane'?' Once again, I said yes (I was assuming this was a creditor, and I was getting ready to defend myself against the inevitable accusations of owed money). The woman then said, 'Thank you.' [Long pause] So, I'm waiting for her to go on.. Finally, I said 'Hello?,' and that tone followed by the recording of the operator came on ('If you'd like to make a call, hang up..'). Um, so basically, she just called to see if 'Jane' was there. That's it. I realize that I screwed up by not demanding her to identify herself first. What, if anything, could this phone call have meant? Does it sound like a scam? Does it sound like a creditor 'verifying' some information about my telephone number? Should I be worried? I'd really like the phone calls to stop, and I hope that whatever this encounter was hasn't set me back even further in this struggle!
I should also mention that we don't have any kind of caller id, or anything that would determine a phone number.