I tried to get debt collectors to stop calling me and they just wouldn’t

fruitbat

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Had a nice one on the weekend. Got sent a barrage of pics via WhatsApp of a bunch of people from someone named “Fae”. Evetually blocked the number.

And no they weren’t hot at all ;-)
 

Trybble

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"Good day, may I speak to $debtor?"
"Wrong number"<click><blacklist_number>

...and that's only if the number isn't already blacklisted, a "private number" or something else that my phone autoblocks.
 

rietrot

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I don't have true caller on my phone and the solution to this is quite simple. Don't be an *******. Talk to the people calling you in a kind and interesting and respectful manner.

Ask them about how their day was, about their family, about what they did for Christmas. If it's a telemarketer going through the trouble of calling you, show some sincere interest in the product they're selling and have them explain it in detail.

Maybe make some new friends. Maybe get removed form all their call list, because these rude people have stats to reach and a certain amount of calls to make a day. They are just as annoyed by having to call you as you are having to take the call. So break that bad cycle and be a good person.
 
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RedViking

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I don't have true caller on my phone and the solution to this is quite simple. Don't be an *******. Talk to the people calling you in a kind and interesting and respectful manner.

Ask them about how their day was, about their family, about what they did for Christmas. If it's a telemarketer going through the trouble of calling you, show some sincere interest in the product they're selling and have them explain it in detail.

Maybe make some new friends. Maybe get removed form all their call list, because these rude people have stats to reach and a certain amount of calls to make a day. They are just as annoyed by having to call you as you are having to take the call. So break that bad cycle and be a good person.
That is all fine and good. Easier said than done. Most of them are arrogant and doesn't take no for an answer. Goodluck thinking they will stop calling.
 

access

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Fck off... You inisiated the call, so you have a duty to state your business before even trying a security check at all. Beside, who da fck "security check" you in the first place. I am not answering questions from a stranger i can't vet myself.

"Go fck yourself" always stops these calls.
"i cannot disclose the reason of the call, for us to proceed you need to answer a few security questions."

i dont speak to people that phone me and ask to do a security check, how do i know they are who they say they are.

tsek
 

eg2505

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"Good day, may I speak to $debtor?"
"Wrong number"<click><blacklist_number>

...and that's only if the number isn't already blacklisted, a "private number" or something else that my phone autoblocks.
truecaller is ones best friend here, so many randoms calling me its not even funny.
 
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Cius

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Had this issue on my work phone for 5 years now. Eventually installed an app a few years back to block calls. Largely solved the problem but it is highly annoying. I think people should have forced number for life. If you rack up bad debts you should not get to just buy a new sim and pass the problem on to the next guy.
 
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j4ck455

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I don't have true caller on my phone and the solution to this is quite simple. Don't be an *******. Talk to the people calling you in a kind and interesting and respectful manner.

Ask them about how their day was, about their family, about what they did for Christmas. If it's a telemarketer going through the trouble of calling you, show some sincere interest in the product they're selling and have them explain it in detail.

Maybe make some new friends. Maybe get removed form all their call list, because these rude people have stats to reach and a certain amount of calls to make a day. They are just as annoyed by having to call you as you are having to take the call. So break that bad cycle and be a good person.
While I understand that debt collectors and sales people probably have very few friends due to the way that they annoy people for a living, I'm just not that short of friends nor desperate enough to befriend random people that might call me, I prefer the mute and hold options.
 

JustAsk

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I think people should have forced number for life. If you rack up bad debts you should not get to just buy a new sim and pass the problem on to the next guy.
Better solution...the networks should (or forced to) dump the number into an "unused pool" for say a year, where it can't be used or receive calls. Any scammer, sorry debt collector, that still chasing debts using said number should be fined.
 

ArtyLoop

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Had this issue on my work phone for 5 years now. Eventually installed an app a few years back to block calls. Largely solved the problem but it is highly annoying. I think people should have forced number for life. If you rack up bad debts you should not get to just buy a new sim and pass the problem on to the next guy.
Here is the problem. These debt collectors, upon being informed they have the wrong number, just don't stop.
The whole debt collection industry is as dirty as a sewer. Many of them claim they are a "law firm" but upon closer inspection they're ex-lawyers in many cases, because their tactics and lack of ethics get them disbarred anyway.
They don't do proper checks, they don't verify info, their main goal is to interrupt the workings of prescription so that they can extract as much as they can for the debt they purchased (where the original credit grantor has already sold it off and written it off to).

To them, its just par for the course to hammer the number they have on file, even if the person on the other end denies he knows who the person is they are looking for. Its called "pushing until they cave in"
 

RedViking

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"i cannot disclose the reason of the call, for us to proceed you need to answer a few security questions."

i dont speak to people that phone me and ask to do a security check, how do i know they are who they say they are.

tsek
I have a number saved as Visa or comes up as Visa on Should I Answer? . They some times phone to confirm transactions on my credit card. They usually ask something like "are you the only owner to the credit card" "area code for your PO Box"..... They don't ask for ID numbers or Account number etc. But yes, I am always very suspicious and they first have to tell me their name and organisation and how they got my number.
 

RedViking

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Not a debt collectors but here is an example of Woolworths Telemarketing and how persistent they are.

Screenshot_2018-12-31-14-37-42-983_org.mistergroup.muzutozvednout.png
 
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Anthro

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I have a number saved as Visa or comes up as Visa on Should I Answer? . They some times phone to confirm transactions on my credit card. They usually ask something like "are you the only owner to the credit card" "area code for your PO Box"..... They don't ask for ID numbers or Account number etc. But yes, I am always very suspicious and they first have to tell me their name and organisation and how they got my number.
Problem with answering this type of question is the new "biometric" / voice systems which use your voice to authenticate.
Ask the right question, record the right answer and a machine lets them into your account (for certain accounts / functions anyway)
I do not deal with incoming calls from any financial provider, or someone I have an account with.
I tell them to make me a branch appointment to see them.
Another thing I do, is to create a dedicated eMail address for anyone I have an account with on my domain, so that I can easily spot when they sell my details.
eg. recently i started getting SPAM from people to my edgars@domainname account = they sold my address
 

RedViking

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All those numbers plague me frequently.
They are from a debt collection firm operating for prescribed FNB loans
Interesting how the spam number get used for various different companies. I don't have a Woolworths account or an FNB account (only use it for PayPal). That number doesn't take a very kind 'please don't contact me'.
 

ArtyLoop

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Interesting how the spam number get used for various different companies. I don't have a Woolworths account or an FNB account (only use it for PayPal). That number doesn't take a very kind 'please don't contact me'.
These are VoIP numbers, they get used for a lot of nefarious purposes. We have an 087 VoIP number at home for me to use, and on my wife's phone it is detected as a "debt collector" when I call her cell. Figures!
 

Jan

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Why is the author of this article even answering calls from unknown or private numbers? I never answer any call that's not from a number in my contact list. If it's important they can leave a voicemail.
Not answering calls is a luxury many people don't have, whether people who run their own businesses or us lowly journalists.

Regarding voicemail, though not core to the matter and anecdotal—most people I've chatted to about their voicemail preferences say that they don't check their voicemail. They either disable it if they know how, record a message telling people to send them an SMS if it's urgent, or just let their voicemail inbox fill up to the point that it can't store any more messages.

As a result, they assume that no-one else uses voicemail either, and don't bother recording a message when the answering machine picks up.

TrueCaller works well, but it can't help people who don't have a smartphone. Just because folks in this thread have solved this problem for themselves doesn't mean it's not a problem.

What was interesting to me about this story is that all parties concerned are in a bad spot.

The company is owed money and to ensure they comply with all the relevant laws they hand over their collections to a third-party. The debt collectors, by all accounts, have to deal with desperate people, liars and thieves all day, so how do they reliably establish whether the person answering the phone is actually the person they are looking for?

And of course there is us, the (mostly) innocent consumer who has to deal with all the spam coming to what we hoped would be a clean new number.

What could help is some kind of integration between the system the debt collectors use and the operator systems that handle number recycling. They don't have to pass through any RICA data or anything... just a flag that says the number was recently recycled, no longer belongs to the previous owner, and the date it was recycled maybe.
 
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