Collection Agency Mistakenly Contacting Me Re: Someone Else's Account

Updated on December 07, 2010
D.W. asks from Minneapolis, MN
16 answers

Ugh! Someone else who has the same first and last name as me, but a different middle initial, SSN, and address, has a credit card through the same company as me. It's a big company and I have a common name, so it's not much of a stretch to imagine this could happen. Apparently she hasn't paid her bill in quite some time, and somehow collection agencies have connected my phone numbers with her account. The first time it happened was with my home phone number a few months ago, and I explained to 2 different people at the collection agency that they had the wrong "Jane Doe." I also called the credit card issuer, and when they looked up my phone number they could only find my account, which I pay off faithfully each month. Now a different collection agency has called my cell phone number looking for the same person. I explained to someone there earlier today what the situation was, but they still called back again tonight (I was at an event for my daughter and didn't answer). Once again, I called the credit card company and they can only connect my phone number with my account. My credit report is clean, which is probably the most important thing, but nonetheless the collection calls are getting annoying. How can I make them stop?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Glens Falls on

Oh dear! This is such a hassle and some of the collection agencies are just terrible when you're trying to convince them that they have the wrong person! I had to add my middle initial to all my accounts when this happened to me. Then it finally stopped.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

My dau has used my number for so much stuff - calls have finally dropped way off after finally catching some of them and telling them she hasn't lived her in years, giving a phone number and other info if we know it, and telling them good luck on collecting anything! Maybe I need a cease and desist letter on her using my phone/address!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Chicago on

Ok, I worked collections, plan to go back into it when I can ... you need to contact the companies and find out the address to contact thier LEGAL department and send them a letter.
the above site can help with that ... you also need to ask them to verify the address on the account and if it does not match typically they are to discontinue the call ... for a "band aid" until the letter gets to legal and actions can be taken on thier part please ask them to only "contact by mail"
Here is how it works, agents get paid based on contacts per hour, so once someone finds a phone number that "matches" they stick with it if someone answers. We typically feel that the person on the other line is running us in circles because lets face it 75% or more really are. I would also think about getting life alert or something simmilar to protect your credit because if this other "Jane Doe" gets wind of this and is a not okay person bad things may happen to your credit. Plus inquiries (yes, collection agencies make inquiries on your credit report it is in your contract) can lead to a negative report if you are not careful.
1. Cease and Dessist letter to thier legal department
2. Contact by mail only request
3. Protect YOUR credit
4. Contact your Attorney General to know all of your rights in your state and gain assistance

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I also worked in collections for nearly a decade. More over I worked in skip tracing helping repossess cars. If you send a cease and desist letter all that will happen is they will remove the numbers from your VALID account that they can easily find, and you risk not being notified if something is wrong with your real account.

Skip tracers get accounts with no contact information and try to locate the debtor. I would bet $100 they are trying to "skip trace" this other woman of the same name and in doing so are calling numbers listed to people of the same name. It could be more sophisticated then that - they may have this number coming up in Lexis Nexis, Fast Data, or some other data tool. You need to answer when a skip tracer calls and talk to a manager. Document who you're speaking to and get them to note the account - her account - not to call you. The good news is they have NOT put your number on her account, if they had other reps would be able too pull the account by your number.

It's a pain, and very annoying. I've gotten calls from people looking for my ex husbands new wife. The skip tracing tools professionals use try to generate leads and link together "possible" family, as well as the skip tracers themselves doing some digging and trying to make educated guesses.

What I would do, personally, is document the calls date and time. Get the womans full name (you mentioned knowing her middle initial) and speak to a rep when they call... document the reps name and get as much info about the account that is NOT yours. I would send a certified letter, keep a copy and the receipt that someone signed for it. If the calls continue then I would file a BBB complaint about the calls for the other womans account. Include EVERY step that you've already taken -- who you spoke with, the certified letter, etc. Most companies take BBB complaints very seriously and will take the extra steps to get the complaint resolved.

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This happened to me. I asked to speak with he legal department. They asked me to verify my identity, by giving them all my personal info. and social security number. (which I didn't do.) Do NOT do this. I trust a creditor, as far as I can throw them. There's no way I'd give them with their sleazy tactics, my vital info. I then sent a cease and desist letter. They never called again. It won't do any good to contact them, they will keep harassing you. You have to send the letter.

I agree with the previous poster, who said to get their entire name (ask for a number, too. Mine had an identification number.) and report them to the BBB.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

You have to be so careful. If you have talked to your creditor and everything is fine on your end of things, don't worry. That said, collection agencies pay people to sit in a room and make calls to retrieve money. They also google people and use "people finders" online. They often will call anyone and everyone with the same last name hoping to gather information or hoping to get the correct "Jane Doe" sooner or later.
Then, there are the scammers. And there are LOTS of them. They will call asking for so and so, knowing so and so isn't there, and then they will try to get you to divulge your personal info such as social security number or bank account numbers under the guise of "helping" you verify that you aren't the person they're after so they can quit "troubling" you.
One thing I have found that runs them off is that I start asking them questions. What is your name, your extension, your job title, who is your supervisor? I've had them literally hang up on me for asking that stuff and that's a huge red flag. I had one company calling looking for my mother in law who passed away before my divorce and I'd been divorced 8 years. Why would someone be trying to find a dead woman in order to collect a 10 year old debt?
The other thing you can do is google the phone number the debt collectors are calling from. You might be surprised what you find about some of them.
Never, ever give them your personal information.
Document the times they are calling you because they aren't supposed to call outside of certain hours. If they do, tell them you need information so you can turn them in for harrassment. That usually stops them too.

Best wishes and be careful.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Ask them were they are calling from (get an employee name and a company name) and tell them if they don't correct their records and stop calling you, you will report them.
Then follow through. You report them to your state attorney general... make sure to keep a log of who is calling and when.
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

You are going to have to answer the calls and speak to each one. Get a reference number for the account they are calling about. Then make sure they understand you are not the same person (point out ssn, dob, and middle initial). Tell them to stop contacting you regarding someone else's account.

Contact you credit card company and ask them to contact their collection agency and do the same.

Get a copy of your credit report just to be sure they have perpetuated the mixup.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Google FDCPA. Below is some pertinent information from one website. Also, keep in mind you can always threaten to call your state's attorney general - that should make them back down:

Can a debt collector keep contacting me if I don’t think I owe any money?

If you send the debt collector a letter stating that you don’t owe any or all of the money, or asking for verification of the debt, that collector must stop contacting you. You have to send that letter within 30 days after you receive the validation notice. But a collector can begin contacting you again if it sends you written verification of the debt, like a copy of a bill for the amount you owe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Tell them that you have explained on more than one occasion that they have mistaken you for the wrong person. Let them know that if they call again, they will be recieving a notice from the DO NOT CALL LIST. Call them and list the number--they will get a nasty letter and fine if they keep doing this- it is harrassment. Make notes of what time and when they call and have that prepared if you need to take this further.....


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

make sure they didnt steal your identity.


make sure they didnt steal your identity.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I've had this similar situation happen numerous times. And not even because we share a similar name. Somehow the collection agency has our contact info but someone else's name.

I just politely explain to them that no we are not Mr. XYZ, please update your records to reflect this. It has normally only taken a few requests - per collection agency. Yes, I have better things to do with my time. But I'd rather take the time right then to clear things up, then be 'harrassed' by continuous call backs. Because when I just ignore the phone calls and hope they'll figure it out, they don't.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Geez good luck... we have that problem with my cousin who gave them our number for some reason so they call here looking for him. Be prepared to ignore them or having to explain umpteen million times your situation... maybe if you tell them to mark you of their call list right now as the wrong number they'll leave you alone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I was getting calls, and they kept coming, even when I talked to the company. It was not until I finally had thier legal department on the phone I was able to get the calls to stop. When a company sends an account for collections, they no longer handle the account, so all the info for the bad account will be with the legal team.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

My husband also has this issue with his own father! They have the same first and last name, Different middle names. And it's amazing how 2 people with 2 different ss#'s can be the same. We have credit cards, hospital bills, a lazarus card from 1983 (no joke! My husband was 5 in 1983) all on my husbands credit report. We've written letter after letter and nothing has happened yet. It has caused us a lot of problems! I'm sorry you're having to deal with this!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Remember that collection agencies are contractors who work for the credit card company, but are not connected to the credit account info. I would suggest that you ONLY speak with a supervisor next time you receive a phone call. Then ask to whom you may address a letter (specifically) to clarify the miscommunication.

Send a letter simply stating that you spoke to ____ at the cc company on this date at this time who confirmed for you that it is their error. Your account is not in default and you will not continue to take calls from collection agencies. Then state that you expect the error in their records to be corrected immediately. Mail the copy to the person identified by the supervisor, keep a copy for yourself and mail a copy to the collection agency.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions