Last night we returned home from a weekend away to a pair of phone messages asking me to call a certain phone number. One message was from a woman, the other was from a man. Both callers gave generic-sounding names, and they seemed to have an odd sense of urgency given that they didn’t leave any information as to why they were calling.
My wife actually listened to them first and nailed the situation squarely on the head… They were calling from a debt collection agency. How do I know this? Simple. I Googled the phone number that they gave me and up popped a bunch of hits for a certain collection agency. The funny thing is, we have perfect credit and have never been delinquent on any bills.
There are three main possibilities here:
(1) They’re taking a shotgun approach to finding a debtor with whom I’m luck enough to share a name. In this case, they must just be looking through the phone book by last name, as our phone is listed under my wife’s first initial and our last name. My name isn’t actually listed.
(2) I’m a victim of identity theft and/or credit fraud, and there are outstanding debts resulting from this that have gone to collections.
(3) The collection agency is running some sort of scam. I’m not really sure what they’d be playing at, but I’m always on the lookout for scams so I thought I’d throw this out there as a possibility.
From the start, my money has been on #1. I do, however, have to admit that I was a bit concerned about #2. Thus, I decided to check my free credit reports. As I expected, all three of my credit reports are clean, so I think I’m in the clear as far as identity theft or credit fraud goes.
For the time being, I’m just sitting tight. While I’m not planning on calling them, I suspect they’ll trying to get in touch with me again shortly. In the mean time, I’ve been brushing up on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both of which protect consumers against unfair credit practices.