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Thread: Harassment by Debt Collectors

  1. #1
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    Harassment by Debt Collectors

    A few days ago I switched to another prepaid cellular service, Mint Mobile for 3 months, and now I'm getting called by not just salesmen and recorded-message spammers, but by nasty aggressive debt collector companies that repeatedly call and insist that I prove I'm not the person they're looking for.

    If Mint Mobile lets me change my number, are there any ways of finding a "long out of service" telephone number in my area code (i'd gladly be willing to pay extra for one) or, if not , finding recently created overlay area codes in the continental USA that won't have many pre-used telephone numbers?

    I'm going to assume that the blocks of telephone numbers allocated to prepaid cellular carriers are more likely to be used as throwaway numbers and thus get abused and well-worn by previous owners before being discarded, but is there any way of quarantining these sort of particularly bad telephone numbers so no one else will be victimized from one getting recycled and dumped on them?

  2. #2
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    I started service with another MVNO last year and it has taken me over 7 months to scrub most of the s*** calls (similar to what you are getting). And, you know what, it's a continual process. I have chosen not to change the number because I like the number AND I use Google Voice as my main number so any calls and/or texts received on the 'sim' number, I know are either spam or misdirected. So I decided early on to use YouMail as my voicemail for the 'sim' number and spam block. I now get 2-3 spam texts and 1-2 erroneous calls per day now. I've thought about changing the number but couldn't be assured I would get a number any better than the one I have, PLUS, I like the number. So, I make it work for me and it is so much better now than what it was I am willing to put up with it. YMMV

  3. #3
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    I haven't found any correlation between budget providers & getting undesirable recycled numbers. Out of the many numbers I have gotten over the last few years from MVNO's & free VOIP companies, only 1 has been a dud. That number kept getting calls & texts for "Tyangela" about student loans & ladies night promos. Red Pocket changed the number with no hassles for free.

    My main number is a recycled number from Northrup Grumman & Caller ID still displays that even after switching between H2o Wireless, Red Pocket AT&T & RP Verizon. H2o wasn't able to change it, but it doesn't really bother me.

  4. #4
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    OP, keep in mind that when a phone # is assigned that the representative cannot see whether or not it is a new phone # or not. Unfortunately, it is the luck of the draw.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

  5. #5
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    I have had a couple of duds over the years. Changing the number is the path of least resistance.
    "I didn't get fat by accident. This was a personal choice. " - Kevin Gillespie

  6. #6
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    Was on a one month Lycamobile sim, guy texts me (from a local exchange) about how crappy his life was, broken down car etc.....I started sending him motivational sayings every few days. He would always reply "thanks man, I needed that."

    Hope the dude is doing ok.

  7. #7
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    did he ask how he got your number

  8. #8
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    You might try getting a google voice number. Wait a week or so to see if it is getting calls, then if not, port it in.

  9. #9
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    If you know any lawyers you might consider suing the collectors. I'm not a lawyer but I think they are legally required to stop calling once you tell them it's the wrong number. Every once in a while I read about someone who is awarded tens of thousands of dollars from a harrassing collector.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    I'm not a lawyer but I think they are legally required to stop calling once you tell them it's the wrong number.
    Unfortunately, that's not the way the law was enacted. Only the person that is delinquent can request the collector stop contacting them. Legally, at that point, they must stop contacting the delinquent person. The collectors can call wrong numbers, family members, etc. ad nauseam. No protections in the law for anyone else.

  11. #11
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    According to https://consumerlawyer.mn/debt-colle...-someone-else/ and numerous other legal help sites, a debt collector is only legally allowed to call a non-debtor once. The article advises telling the collector that you are not the debtor and requesting that they stop calling you. This worked for me when Boost gave me a deadbeat's recycled number. It was harder to convince her ex-boyfriends that the number was no longer hers
    Find and compare prepaid plans at https://prepaidcompare.net

  12. #12
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    No point is arguing with the debt collectors. Listen to them for a minute, then interrupt and tell them you want to be ADDED to their DO NOT CALL LIST, and hang-up. Even if they don't entirely comply, you'll find the volume of calls dropping off after a few rounds of that.

  13. #13
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    I've never been in the position of debt collectors contacting me to try to get me to pay back debt I owe, but I can imagine that many may try to claim that they aren't the person they are attempting to contact. Which probably explains why they call back. Of course, when you aren't the person in debt, then they are unlikely to get money from you.
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. But I have more phones than lines. Back to only Prepaid with the changes in the economy.

  14. #14
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    Get a good call blocker which will block all numbers not in your contact list. Problem solved...

  15. #15
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    I got a new company phone years ago. When I opened the box and turned it on, there were 10+ messages from bill collectors. It took a couple months before they stopped calling. This was on real ATT

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