Possibly fradulent debt collector calling my parents but looking for me
November 27, 2015 9:39 AM   Subscribe

My mother has been getting calls from some organization calling themselves nothing other than "CCA" claiming to want to talk to me about a "personal matter". Some preliminary googling reveals a few credit collection agencies by that name. I can't think of any outstanding debts that I would have, and last time I checked my credit report (about a month ago), there were no derogatory remarks. On the other hand, my old insurance company had a data breach, so if someone is running around stealing my identity, I would really like to know!

She told them they have the wrong number and not to call anymore. I'm not sure if they will or not. Is there some sort of script I should give her? It would have to be pretty simple, since she's not great at confrontation on the phone. This is the third time they've called, and I told her to tell them to send anything in writing, but she didn't do that in the last call.

It's been about half a decade or so since I've lived with my address, but I still have their address listed on a few things, like my brokerage. Also, it's not the end of the world if this ends up temporarily on my credit report -- I don't have any short or medium term desire for a mortgage, and I don't use credit for anything else.
posted by ayerarcturus to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Get a copy of your credit report. If nothing is amiss don't worry about it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:24 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

If this is legitimate, they'll send you something in writing.
posted by grouse at 10:31 AM on November 27, 2015 [5 favorites]

You're in the US? Start by contacting the FTC to find out what kind of rights you have when it comes to debt collector communication practices. They should also be able to verify if the caller is a legit, licensed collector (do you have the phone number they're calling from, or just the name?).

Here in BC, Canada, collectors ARE allowed to call the family members/employers/friends/etc of a debtor, but for very specific purposes (basically, to verify a debtor's contact information). Collectors are mandated to send you a letter that provides specific details about the debt you owe (so you can see if it's legit or a scam) and you have the legal right to stop all communication by telephone, opting for mail communication instead. I bet the US has similar laws. It's also possible that the debt collector is trying to contact a different ayerarcturus (if that's the case, it's pretty easy to get them to stop calling if you submit a letter with the proper language on it -- the FTC should be able to advise you on this).

IANAL, etc.
posted by Cat Face at 10:33 AM on November 27, 2015

Can someone who's on a real computer link scody's debt collector letter here?
posted by matildaben at 11:00 AM on November 27, 2015

Ask mom to explicity ask to be placed on their no-call list. After that, record all numbers and company names they use if/when they call back. Call the office of your state attorney general, and mom's if it's different.. Some are reasonably aggressive about going after outfits who violate *state* no-call rules.

The state consumer trade office might be a resource, too.
posted by justcorbly at 11:24 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was getting debt collector phone calls for months and kept letting them go to voicemail, and finally I just went ahead and picked up and we quickly established that they were looking for a different person with my same name and they have not called me since (but, this is the second time I have received calls about this person's debts - the last time was several years ago). So, if they're leaving a callback number with your mom it might be worth just calling it (preferably from a payphone or something) and seeing if it's something simple. (The downside of this is that you would be telling them that you can be reached through your mom, but it doesn't sound like they intend to stop calling her anytime soon anyways).
posted by mskyle at 12:34 PM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Open up an account with Credit Karma. It shows your most recent credit score and reasons for the score, and shows you credit report information, too, from both TransUnion and Equifax. And it's free. Should help with tracking down if anything happened due to the breach.
posted by clone boulevard at 1:11 PM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Probably EOS CCA, which IIRC is Collection Company America located in Dallas. Call and ask for info, as they may be mistaken as to identity. They will send you something in writing if legit. If you're still concerned, get the free report from Annualcreditreport.com. (No, don't buy your score.)

Collection agencies buy accounts by the hundreds of thousands, and many times all they have is a computer printout. They make lots of mistakes. Part of my practice is suing creditors under the FDCPA and related statutes, and you'd be amazed at what I see.
posted by Sweet Dee Kat at 1:48 PM on November 27, 2015

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