Persistent people who keep calling the wrong number

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Summer_Twilight
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26 Aug 2022, 11:39 am

Hi:
I was wondering if anyone in here has ever dealt with people who call you but have the wrong number and don't seem hear you.

Examples:

Years ago, I had a woman who would keep calling my number and I would have to keep telling her that she had the wrong number only to have her tell me, "Well this is the number that was given to me." It eventually got to the point that I told her I would call the police if she ever called me again and she stopped.

My parents told me that when they moved into a rental property and the number was not changed. According to my parents, this family kept asking if the former tenants were there. When my parents tried to tell them, they evidently would confirm. "Are you sure they aren't there anymore?" Things supposedly got so bad that they had to change their phone number.

Anyone experience that?



Fnord
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26 Aug 2022, 12:20 pm

Yes.  Most gave up after the first or second call.  One was persistent, and even threatened to come over and "mess up my s***" if I did not put his ex-girlfriend on the phone immediately.  The cops checked him out, and found he was a recent parolee who was trying to reconnect with one of the woman he had been sleeping with (who used to have the same number) before his incarceration.  The calls stopped, and I do not know what happened to him after that.

Another was a collections agent who called repeatedly, asking for a woman whose name was similar to my real-life name, and demanded that she pay her bills.  No amount of denial would shake this caller off the (false) trail.  Eventually, I did my own digging, and found enough about the unknown woman (i.e., full name, address, SSN, et cetera) to "dox" her to the collections agency.  The calls stopped the next day.


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Last edited by Fnord on 26 Aug 2022, 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CockneyRebel
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26 Aug 2022, 3:54 pm

I get those callers all the time. They drive me bananas.


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IsabellaLinton
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26 Aug 2022, 4:33 pm

We have a call block service on our numbers.

That means we have to pre-approve all the people who are allowed to phone us.

If people aren't on the list, they have to press 7 to get through.

Most people can't be bothered to push 7 or listen to the prompts so they hang up.

Anyone who has been a nuisance in the past gets added to our list of totally blocked numbers.



DanielW
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08 Nov 2022, 12:42 pm

I don't answer mine at all. I even keep the ringer off. People who know me personally, know how to reach me, those who don't get voicemail.



Radish
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08 Nov 2022, 12:58 pm

I had that in France shortly after we moved there before my French was very good. An elderly woman kept ringing and raging and complaining (by the tone of her loud voice) about something. I kept saying in broken French that she had got the wrong number. After a number of such calls by her over several days I gave up and just spoke in English telling her to stop calling me, she was calling the wrong number to which she replied in French asking me why I was speaking a foreign language.

A few more days later a younger woman phoned me and spoke in English with a French accent. It transpired a builder had done some work for the older woman and done a runner with her money after doing only part of the work. Seems like he'd closed his mobile phone account and got a new number to avoid all the hassle coming his way. Unfortunately I was reallocated his old number by French Telecom when we moved to France. The calls stopped.


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lostonearth35
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09 Nov 2022, 5:10 pm

My parents had to to change our phone number at least once or twice because teenagers kept calling to harass us. It was because of me, they really wanted to harass me. I remember this once girl would keep calling us to ask us to get our cat off her fence. I'd tell her we didn't have a cat. And then she'd rudely say "And you don't have a fence" and hang up. Another girl kept calling me to tell me to do sexual disgusting things to a cartoon character that I had a special interest in.

The other day I complained to my mother about telemarketers and scammers that keep calling on my cell phone. She told me "they're just trying to make a living". Seriously? So I told her that's it not a very honest living, which seems to be the only way to make a living these days. My mother showed surprise at my realistic pessimism, and I think I must really be adopted. After I was found in a space capsule.



Radish
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09 Nov 2022, 5:15 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
The other day I complained to my mother about telemarketers and scammers that keep calling on my cell phone.


Don't feel obliged to be polite or to engage with these people. Depending on what they are selling or trying to scam I either tell them I'm not interested straight away and hang up on them even if they are still speaking. I'm a tad ruder with scammers before hanging up.


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Double Retired
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09 Nov 2022, 5:52 pm

Off Topic
Telemarketers:
1. If it's a recording I hangup immediately.
2. If it's quiet but with clicking like the call is being transferred to the next available human I hangup immediately.
3. If it's a person who starts reciting some script I declare "Not interested." and hangup immediately.

except...sometimes...

 Try an ugly truth: A few years ago there was a common scam where they would call you up and say they had detected a problem with your computer. The person on the phone was some flunky in a call-center (typically someplace like India), if you took the bait they would transfer you to someone else who would "handle" your problem. The goal was to get you to download their software so they could do things on your computer, like maybe get your bank account password, etc. Usually when this happened I immediately went with #3 above but...if I had time...I'd ask the flunky "Are you an honest person?", they would say "Yes", and then I would say "Well the people you are working for aren't" and then I would describe the scam. I don't know if I did any good but a couple of the flunkies seemed genuinely curious.

 Try an ugly lie: Some charity in our area has an interesting technique to start a conversation with whoever answers the phone. I assume it improves their odds in soliciting a donation. When you answer the phone come guy immediately calls out "Richard!?" I admit it is tempting to explain there is no "Richard" here but since they've been using that technique for a few years and I know it is a charity soliciting donations I usually go with #3 above...except when I am feeling mischievous. The last time I answered the phone and heard "Richard!?" I immediately started a tirade something along the lines of: "Richard isn't here but he said you would call. He says he's not interested. It was just a one-night stand. He really isn't that interested in you. He's going back to his wife. Please don't call again!!" Then I hangup. While it is mainly meant to amuse me I do think Richard has been getting fewer calls. :)


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10 Nov 2022, 5:53 am

Fnord wrote:
Another was a collections agent who called repeatedly, asking for a woman whose name was similar to my real-life name, and demanded that she pay her bills.  No amount of denial would shake this caller off the (false) trail.  Eventually, I did my own digging, and found enough about the unknown woman (i.e., full name, address, SSN, et cetera) to "dox" her to the collections agency.  The calls stopped the next day.[/color]
Debt collectors are famous for harassing people even if they're the wrong 1s. Senator Elizabeth Warren who championed for the Consumer Protection Bureau had this problem as well.

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/01/eli ... -bair-fcc/

Quote:
“I’d get them in spurts. I’d get maybe 10 calls in the space of three or four days. & I’d say ‘no, no, no’ every time. And then I wouldn’t hear anything more for several months & I’d say, ‘OK, that problem’s gone away,’” Warren said in an interview with The Intercept.

“& then it would start again — and I’d get calls for Gus.”

Even Washington’s most powerful denizens aren’t immune from the signature annoyance purveyed by the multibillion-dollar debt collection industry — & it could be about to get worse. President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission is fielding petitions from industry groups to allow them to increase the frequency of such calls, & to reach out to friends & family of Gus, too. The current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, has previously voted against efforts to limit debt collection calls.

Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, made her name as an academic through her work on bankruptcy & later went on to dream up, then push through Congress, then run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Despite her steady rise to influence & power, she couldn’t make the calls stop.

“This went on for maybe four or five years [before] I finally thought, I’m gonna track this down & make this stop,” the former Harvard law professor said. “So I tried — & I could never figure out who I was talking to & each time they’d assure me it was going to be fixed. & each time I’d get another collection call within the space of a few hours.”

Warren never played the senatorial card — What good would it do? — but she did try a few different approaches, she said. “I told them I was a lawyer & that I did debt collection law & that they could not still be calling on a debt that was this old. & I would try to throw out a few legal phrases & they did absolutely no good. Zero, none,” she said.

The calls weren’t all intimidating or rude, she said. “Some of them called & were very friendly. ‘Hey, Gus! How’s it going?’ & I’d say, ‘I’m not Gus.’ ‘Yeah, well, Gus — When’s Gus gonna be there?’ & I’d say, ‘Gus has not had this number for six years at least.’ & the answer was, ‘Ah, Gus, my man!’” she said.

“Sometimes over the years they’d be robocalls; sometimes the kind where you answer the phone & there’s a pause — so you can tell it’s being dialed somewhere else — & then someone comes on & starts reading from a script; sometimes they’d leave voicemails for me to tell me where I can call back.”

Warren first relayed the story of Gus to me a little more than a year ago. I had been moderating a panel on the fifth anniversary of the report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which explored the deep fraud & abuse that had precipitated the crisis. I had forgotten to silence my phone, & during the panel, it rang — with a call from a debt collector. I can’t remember what unpaid bill they were after, but I told former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, seated to my left, who the caller had been. Bair responded with what she recalled Wednesday as an “experience from hell with credit reporting agencies.”

At a department store, she broke her cardinal rule of having just one credit card, going for a big discount on offer. When the bill came, she paid it, but she was off by $2 & so got hit with a late fee of 10 bucks. She ignored it, & the department store reported her to the credit reporting agencies, ultimately knocking her score down a full 100 points. It took her six months & an extraordinary amount of effort to clean up.

Her husband, meanwhile, who has a fairly common name, had spent years getting debt collection calls intended for somebody else. “They don’t pay them well, they don’t train them well,” said Bair of the staff at the various companies, analogizing it to the financial crisis. “We certainly saw that during the mortgage crisis, with the servicers who didn’t have real training. It just complicated a really dysfunctional system.”

I told Warren, too, & she responded with her tale of Gus. Interviewed about it again this week, she said she made one final effort last spring to make the calls stop, but failed. Later in the year, as part of the John Podesta email dump by WikiLeaks, her number was posted online. So she got rid of it. “That’s the only way I finally solved the problem … I got rid of the phone number,” Warren said. “As far as I know, there’s still debt collectors calling that number.” (If they’re still calling, they’re hitting a dead end. The number is currently not in service.)

For Bair & Warren, who are financially stable, the calls were a nuisance rather than a major threat to their well-being. But if the founder of the CFPB & one of the most powerful FDIC chairs in American history can’t make debt collection calls stop, what chance does anybody else have?

“There’s no rationality on the other end,” Warren said. “Actually, I shouldn’t say that, because it was perfectly rational. They were doing what made sense to them, and that is, they’d buy up these debts, they had a phone number attached to it, at least the one for Gus, & they’d just work ’em over, & keep working ’em over & working ’em over. & I thought about what it must’ve been like for Gus, because they never gave up, not ever.”

It made her think back to her seminal study on bankruptcy. In their survey of people who’d gone through bankruptcy, Warren & her colleagues asked what the factor was that had pushed them toward filing. “A huge number of people responded, ‘To stop the collection calls. They call in the morning, they call at night, they call day long, they call my cell, they call my office, and I can’t live like this anymore.’ I got just a little taste of that personally.”

I asked if there was anything she had learned through the experience that she didn’t pick up in her academic, legal, or political work. She paused & concluded, “Debt collection calls suck.”


I've had debt collectors repeatedly calling me but I went into default on a couple credit-cards about 3 years ago so the calls were legit :oops: I waited like a year & a half before answering & trying to negotiate. I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb due to scam & other types of robocalls & my phone only rings for numbers in my contact list unless I'm expecting a call. I negotiated $25 a month for one credit-card by telling them that I'm disabled & Social Security Disability is my only income. I've done some research 1st & Social Security is not garnishable & I don't own any property; my credit reports would collaborate that so actually trying to take me to court or something would cost them more money :wink: The guy gave me 10 years & then I'd be responsible for the rest so I don't have to really worry about it right now. The other card was close to 2wice as high & I agreed to pay $25 a month on that but payments were only scheduled for a couple months. The guy said they would call me in a couple months to see if my financial situation changed. They didn't call(or didn't leave a message if they did) so I scheduled $25 payments online for the rest of the year & they never called since. That reminds me, when next year starts I need to schedule some more payments. I would have to live to be about one hundred to pay the latter card off with $25 a month. I do get offers in every month about how I can settle the latter debt for a lot less than I owe but if I could afford that much in a month, I would NOT have ran up that debt in the 1st place; I spent years accumulating it. If I get a part-time job(I really need to start looking soon) or come into some other money, I would accept the offer so I wouldn't have that stress hanging over my head, plus I f#cked up & I should own up & take responsibility if I can.


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nick007
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10 Nov 2022, 6:01 am

Double Retired wrote:
Off Topic
if I had time...I'd ask the flunky "Are you an honest person?", they would say "Yes", and then I would say "Well the people you are working for aren't" and then I would describe the scam.
I doubt very honest people would say a simple Yes to that question. My response would be something like, "I usually am". Admitting that you are not always honest is more honest than saying or implying that you are always honest :wink: which means that a very small amount of car dealerships & politicians are actually very honest.


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lostonearth35
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12 Nov 2022, 10:59 am

Radish wrote:
lostonearth35 wrote:
The other day I complained to my mother about telemarketers and scammers that keep calling on my cell phone.


Don't feel obliged to be polite or to engage with these people. Depending on what they are selling or trying to scam I either tell them I'm not interested straight away and hang up on them even if they are still speaking. I'm a tad ruder with scammers before hanging up.


I'm Canadian. I'm too polite to hang up. :D

Ha ha kidding. :twisted: I either hang up or don't answer the number at all because they must think I have mush for brains if they think I'm going to sit and listen to them speak non-stop and believe a single world of it.