I'm wondering if this is something new or just a low-down dirty way of doing business utilizing the Internet.....and how many places are doing this now.
I received a call a week or so ago from this guy who quickly identified himself as working out of an attorney's office in California. He asked if he was speaking to ....and he said my name and I said 'yes'. He then said he was desperately trying to get in touch with my niece and he gave her name.
He seemed to know that she lived out of my state and named the state to which she had moved (more than 8 years ago) and he seemed to know that she is a relative.
I interrupted him at this point because I had already been given a 'heads up' from my daughter about this guy. He had called her about a week previous to my call and had given her the same story. She, of course, did not give him any information but did agree to pass on his message if she heard from her cousin.
This guy works for a collection agency and they use the Internet to find relatives of people who are delinquent on their bills. They then start bugging the relatives of the debtor in order to get in touch with the debtor. I think they are thinking that if they bother enough relatives that they (the relatives) will harp on the debtor to pay up to get rid of these phone calls and thus, it makes their job much easier.
I don't know who started this process but I really resent being bothered, especially since I don't owe any back debts. I not only resent being bothered by phone calls, I resent the invasion of privacy that's occurred since these people had to do some research to find out that I'm related to this person.....especially with a common last name like I have. But most of all.........I resent the fact that they are making private details about a person known to their family members. I had no idea what her financial situation is or was....now I do.....and that's just not right. I hope someone sues over this and stops it....its becoming totally out of hand.
So anyway, I interrupted him and told him off. I told him he was a lowlife revealing private matters about someone to their family members. I asked him how he would like it if his relatives knew if he was late on a bill and it had gone to collection. His attitude bordered on snotty and he was aggressive but I kept interrupting him. (its amazing how gutsy you can be when you know they aren't after you) He retorted that he had not told me that she owed money....and I said, well, you're from a collection agency and you're trying to get ahold of her....so what else can one think. I told him that I did not want to know her financial status.....it was none of my business and I wanted it to stay that way. I told him to remove my name and phone number from his computer and not to call me again. He said he would comply with my request.........but you know he really won't, don't ya?