Has This Happened to You? - Lisle,IL

Updated on February 02, 2013
J.S. asks from Lisle, IL
15 answers

Three times this month, I've received automated calls on my cell phone that say, "If you are not Jane Doe, please hang up." I believe these calls are collection calls. The reason I believe this is after I got my cell number, I received these types of calls for someone else. I did get that straightened out. Thing is, Jane Doe is a friend of mine that lives in a different state. How did a collection agency with her debt(s) get my number?

I've talked to Jane and she admitted she had some accounts in collection, but had no idea how this agency got my personal cell number. Looking up the number on reverse look-up proved fruitless.

Can you moms/dads give me some insight? I'm a little worried about this. What would you do?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for your stories and advice! I have never been a credit reference for her that I know of, but that doesn't mean she hasn't given out my number, which is making me question the friendship.

Thank you again!

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answers from Tampa on

Yes, we have had the same phone number for over 10 years now and we got collection calls like this for YEARS. They would ask if someone is home? When I said no one is there by that name, they would ask when this person would be home. I would tell them that I had no idea since I had never met the person and had no clue where the hell they lived.

I had one collection company call me when I lived in an apartment complex wanting me to physically goes over to a neighbor's door and leave a written message on their door. When I asked what it was in reference to, they got snotty and told me that they could not discuss it with me. SO, I let them know that since they could not talk to me about it, then I could not help them with anything.

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answers from Cleveland on

Were you ever a reference for her for a credit card or loan? Co-Signer? Did she happen to have the number before you? We used to get calls about debts for people we had referenced. They (credit company) figure you know where they (debtor) are.

We get calls all the time for someone who still lives in the area. The best one was the vets office calling to say his dog was ready to be picked up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Data mining. I've gotten contacted about my ex-stepfather who I have had no contact with for years. Or we got a couple of calls about my husband's exwife's exhusband. They look for any connection.

You can call the companies and ask to be removed from their list. You can also put your cell on the do not call registry, inform them that you have done so (they have not done business with YOU) and then report them if it continues.

You might also tell your friend that there are regulations collectors must follow. The FTC's website has that information.

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answers from Washington DC on

yes. I have had calls like that. They are for my husband's cousin with the same name as my son. They do a skip-trace and see our names "match" so they call. Are we related? Do we know how to reach him?

As to your friend Jane? I would bet money that she used you as a reference on a loan or credit card - remember when you fill out an application for credit or anything like that - you have to give at least 2 references that are not family.

as much as it sucks to do so? I would give them her contact information and tell them to leave you alone. The debt is NOT yours. Tell her what you are going to do. If she needs help financially (sounds like she does) and you can help her - I would. However, do NOT loan money you can't afford to lose.

If you don't feel comfortable loaning her money to get her out of this mess, direct her to financial counselors....Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and MANY banks offer financial advisers...I know USAA does. We check in with them quarterly to make sure we are back on track (after my husband was unemployed for 10 months, it sucked our savings and investments dry). And it's great to hear someone who is not involved as a friend or family who is knowledgeable about money to give you some tricks to beef up your savings, diverging your investments...etc. Sounds like she needs help.

So when you get these calls in the future. Give them her contact information and tell them to remove you from their list. If they don't remove you? You can tell them that if they continue to call and harass you - you will turn their name and number to the FTC (FTC.gov) and follow through.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

we have some close friends who struggle to make payments. the husband is the only one working and the wife has issues and wont get a job. that man works with my husband and asked my husband if he could give his number to the billing companies so they try to call our friend first for a payment then my husband is next on the list. recently the company just nixed my husband and found the work number and will call his boss to ask for payment. idk what its about they rent to own fruniture and have a few loans for the house and car...idk there finances and dont want to either. its a mess though! but that is one way they could have gotten the nuber...she gave it to them. money is always a sticky situation. sorry your mixed up in it.

my husband bought a truck that had a toll way ticet on it from six months before he even owned the car. it took us a couple of years YEARS to get it straightened out. we had sold the truck and were still getting calls about that ticket...ugh

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

My husband was getting the same thing. I called the number back and told them there was no such person at this phone number and to take our number off of their info, haven't had a problem since.

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answers from St. Louis on

Your friend probably gave them your number instead of hers so they couldn't call her.

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answers from Columbia on

I do two things, based upon the type of automated calling they use.

1. Wait for someone to come on the line and then tell them I'm not Jane Doe and do not have contact with her so they can remove me from their contacts.

2. Wait for the automated option which states "Press 4 if you are not Jane Doe." And then they'll remove your number from the calling list.

The agency got your personal cell number from Jane as a reference to who could find her if she defaults. Obviously they are looking for her and want her to pay her bill. If you don't want to be a part of it, all you need to tell the collection agency is NO.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I would just keep on hanging up. You're dealing with an automated system, and those systems are efficient but not very bright. If you ever get a call from a real person, you can say, "There is no Jane Doe at this address, but I get a lot of calls for her. I need to report it to someone. Would you mind connecting me with your supervisor?" Then you can tell the super about these repeat maybe-collection calls, and something might be done. They can't come after you for Jane Doe's debts.

I'm not sure if this answer relates to your situation at all, but I had a vaguely related experience when I first got a cell phone. I had resisted getting one for years. And once I did, I immediately started getting calls for Howard. Howard who? I have no idea.

Various people called for Howard a few times a week - occasionally two or three times a day. It occurred to me that a whole lot of people were looking for this guy. Were they creditors? Investigators? Relatives? One thing seemed clear: Howard dodged these people by getting a new phone number - and guess who got his old one!

I would tell the callers that there was no one of that name at this address. Most of the time they would just hang up; occasionally they got angry. Finally I said to a Howard-seeker, "A lot of people are looking for this Howard - could you pass the word that this isn't his phone number any more?" Then the humor of the whole thing hit me and I said, "Where do you suppose he's hiding? South America?" The voice at the end of the line laughed.

I don't know if anybody ever caught up with Howard - frankly, I hope they did - but the phone calls petered out after about a year and a half. I still almost laugh when I meet a real person named Howard, but I don't tell why.

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answers from Wausau on

We used to get collection calls for my father-in-law. For awhile I ignored it, but then I started giving out his current contact information and the calls stopped for a time. Then he changed his number, and they started again.

I gave out his new number AND took down the numbers of the collectors. Then I gave him the list and told him he needed to take care of his debts and stop avoiding it. He did, but it took that confrontation and his action to make the calls stop for good.

Start giving out Jane's info and tell her to handle her responsibilities.

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answers from Dallas on

Yes, once it was an inclement weather call for my husband, three times it was a bill collector, once it was a doctor's office re: scheduling.

She probably had you as a reference at some point, and that's how they got your number. Chrysler used to call me when my brother got behind on his car payment. They couldn't talk to me and refused to discuss it with me, but they'd call my house asking for him. Once, I got a phone call from some bank or credit place saying I was a reference for a guy....a guy who was my very first bf, but who I hadn't seen since I was 13 when we moved. Like, 24 YEARS ago. I've had the same cell number for nearly 14 years, and we'd spoken on the phone twice in that time, and evidently he put me as a reference for some financial thing. I was like "Um....he was a good kisser for a 12 year old, has great taste in music, is that rare guy that isn't afraid to say sorry...that's about all the reference I can give you, since he was my first boyfriend and I haven't seen him in 24 years". The lady on the line laughed and said thanks, and I haven't been bothered by them since. If I'd spoken to him in the recent decade, perhaps I could have given a better reference, but I have no idea about anything they'd want to know, and I didn't want to have my name linked to anything financial by lying.

If you ignore the call and just hang up as it instructs, it will call you around the same time the next day and the next. If you phone the number back and say "I received this call, but this is the __ residence, there is noone here by that name" they will take you off the list.

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answers from New York on

we've gotten a few calls asking for some lady that has the same last name as we do.. they called asking if we were relatives and if we knew how to get in touch with her.. twice i said no i have no idea who you are talking about we dont know her.. the third time my dad answerd and basically ripped the guy a new butthole lol .. obviously they dont get the message unless you make it perfectly clear to them to stop calling you.. i have 2 thoughts- 1 the collections people will do pretty much anything they can to get in touch with the person and get their money.. or 2-your friend listed your phone number for something
.. i feel like its kind of unusual that they are calling you looking for a friend, its not like your related or they think you could be related because you have the same last name or something... do you trust her enough that she didnt give out your number thinking it would throw them off?? depending on what your feelings are you can either flip out on these people to get them to leave you alone or just give them her phone number

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If calls are coming from the same number, block the number.
You could also add the number to your contacts and then give it a silent ring tone (on my phone there is a No Ring option)- so when it calls, you won't hear it and won't answer.
Group these numbers in a group called block list if you want to.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Yeah, I've gotten collections calls at my house in MD for my brother in laws ex wife who lives in NC and I have only met her 1 time like 10 years ago. Those collection folks are pretty crafty. They do all kinds of research and will totally call family members in effort to track people down. Have you ever lived with this friend? Even a long time ago? Its weird the connections they can find. I also sometimes get calls for my old roommate from 15 years ago that never lived at the address I am at now.

Best ways to get it to stop are:
1) Give out her contact info
2) tell them they have the wrong number and demand they remove your number from their database. They have to do this if you request it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My brother never gave out my number, and I have a different last name now that I am married, yet the credit people found me to ask about him. So it could be innocent.

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