I don’t know who Antonio S. is but I know a lot about him. How? I switched to Verizon nearly 18 months ago and received the phone number that used to belong to Antonio.
At first I just received random calls once every few months looking for him. Antonio must have come upon hard times because that all changed two months ago. I’ve had calls from at least four different companies trying to reach the guy. (He apparently isn’t good about updating his lenders with current information either!)
So what can you or I do when debt collectors call the wrong person?
1. Change Numbers. I don’t want to change my phone number after this length of time. I would recommend this option when it happens to someone fairly soon after getting a new number.
2. Assert Your Rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects all of us from harassment from debt collectors. You don’t have to continue receiving calls for another person (or yourself for that matter).
I tell each collector that I don’t know who Antonio is as our only connection is that he used to have my number. I also add the length of time I have owned the number.
Keep a long of calls after notifiying them that person no longer has the number. If collectors continue to call after that point then I would contact the state attorney general.
3. Block the Numbers. In researching this story I see people in the same situation with mixed results. Some continue to get calls several years after getting their phone number. It might be simpler to just block the number.
Has this ever happened to you and how did you handle it?
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