Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Goofy Phone Calls

From time to time we get some annoying goofy phone calls. I noticed it more when our answering machine broke. We went without one for about 2 weeks and then I bought a new one.

One call is for David Roman. We've lived here for ten years now and we still get a recorded message asking for David Roman. I called back and told them he doesn't live here and they say they'll mark their records and I won't get anymore calls. Then about a month or so later, we get another call looking for David Roman.

Another goofy one we get is for Karen Weekly. I think she lived here before us, but I don't have her number and again I tell them she doesn't live here. I don't get these calls very often, but still, after living here ten years, you'd think they'd get the message.

The third goofiest call of all came from some place saying my husband owes $499 and if he doesn't pay, they'll take him to court. This is very upsetting to us because we always pay our bills promptly. They wouldn't talk to me because they close before I get home. Supposedly, they say we owe for some magazine subscription package he purchased in 2005! We did subscribe to magazines then, but there's no way would we ever spend that much on a magazine package! They wouldn't take a credit card and refused to send us an invoice. They said they've already sent them. Well, we didn't get any. This whole call is very upsetting. I told my husband to just forget it, but then they called again about a month later. After they threatened my husband with legal action and said it would be in our best interest to pay it or we'd end up having to pay even more, my husband gave in and paid with our bank debit card after I told him not to. At first I was very angry coming home on the bus after he told my on my cell phone that he paid it. He didn't get a name of the company or the phone number. They gave him some verification number that will show on our bank statement they said. So far, it hasn't shown up--another puzzle to me. I can't really be mad at my husband because if I had gotten the call, I might have done the same thing, but I am very disturbed by the call. When we bought a car just last July and they checked our credit, it was great.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice. I really am at a loss as what to do about this. (See my Thankful Thursday Posted 7/3/08)


Anonymous said...

Often when you get a call like that, where they claim you owe them money and won't produce documentation, it's an attempt to get details from you to steal your identity. Now they have your name, address, phone number, and debit card number. That particular charge might not show up at all, but they've got your information for future use. Maybe you should get a credit monitoring service for a few months. I'd also stop payment with the bank for that charge, until they produce documentation. If it went to court without you having been given proof of the debt, you'd win.

Karen and Gerard said...

grr, midnight & Cocoa:
Thanks for your input. My initial reaction was that it was a scam of someone trying to steal our identity too, or at least our credit card number, but what was odd was they wouldn't take the credit card number.

Also, if it is legit, how we we be able to prove we never got any invoice for this? I'm thinking maybe I should just close that account and open a new one. I think I'll talk to the bank about it and see what they suggest.

Anonymous said...

My mom had an experience like that and she chose to close the account and reopen another. That's always the safest way. Also, if they took you to court, THEY have the burden of proof, as they call it. They have to prove that they've tried to get you to pay and given you proper documentation and proper notice of their intentions. I've had to take people to Small Claims court, as well as having larger cases sent, as part of my job (Accounting Director and Collections). THEY have to come up with something you signed, obligating you for the debt. Then they have to prove that they've tried, legally, to get you to pay that debt. Threatening phone calls and refusal to produce documentation are not legal. Please shut down the account or stop payment on the transaction, if you haven't done so already. It really smells of fraud to me. Good luck!

The Author said...

I just read this. Ignore my answer to your post today.
This is a scam! Tell them you are calling the police and you have call tracing on the phone.
This same exact thing happened to my stepfather. He was scared and frightened and they called every night bullying him.
After I told him to contact the police, they never called again.
As Midnight said, it's an attempt to get information from you and cash too.
Don't tell them anything.

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