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debt collection practices involving a third party

Posted Sat January 16, 2010 1:11 am, by Mathew H. written to Wells Fargo

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Wells Fargo has been calling me from a phone number (515-327-3702)about another customer's business and will not stop calling. In fact I've documented about 15 calls now. Wells fargo called me one of the times and explained that they were looking for my roommate. Despite my explaining all the information I knew, which did include me stating his location, they kept calling. When I asked why they were calling, they stated it was "regarding a personal account". When I asked if there was a problem they stated it was because, "he has an account that's no longer in good standing". At that point I obviously understood they were trying to collect a debt. When I then said, "Oh, you're trying to collect a debt", they further confirmed my idea by not disagreeing with me and continuing to ask for him. To my knowledge it's illegal to call someone other than the customer and alert them to the fact that they are trying to collect a debt. In fact I think that is a violation of federal law. In fact I think it's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - Section 804(2)&(3) "Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall - (2)not state that such consumer owes any debt; (3)not communicate with any such person more than once..." I spoke with a manager a few minutes ago from Wells Fargo customer service (I called 1-800-869-3557 and spoke with the manager named Amber). She explained that she could not help me and refused to take any action to stop the calls. She (the Wells Fargo customer service Manager) put the burden on me to take additional steps to stop the calls, somehow implying it's my fault if they continue. Well it is not my fault. Wells Fargo is acting illegally according to federal law, and outrageously according to any reasonable person.

I want Wells Fargo to stop calling me and to apologize. Matt


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by Jared C. Posted Tue January 19, 2010 @ 2:04 PM

I can help you with this as I went through this myself. A debt
collection agency kept calling my home phone for somebody that was NOT
me - it must've been someone who had previously had the phone number.

They called early in the AM on weekends waking me up....late at night
waking me up....throughout the day and night and they wouldn't stop,
even after I explained to them that I am not "Joe Blow" (or whatever
the guy's name was) and that I had never bought anything at the
location they were calling about.

Finally, I'd had enough of the calls and their refusal to verify that
I was NOT the person they were looking for.

I went to a local shopping center and picked up a receiver for a pay
phone (so the 800 number calls could NOT be tracked back to my home).
I called their 800 number, gave them the confirmation number for the
request/issue they'd left on my voicemail one day and proceeded to
talk to a phone rep.

ERROR #1: They never verified any of the personal data for the
confirmation number above - no SSN check, no name check, etc.

Pretending to be the debtor, I proceeded to tell the phone rep I
couldn't pay their charges as I was a heroin addict (a lie) and I
spent all my free cash on smack and on paying a local farmer so I
could obtain sexual favors from his livestock. The phone rep was
incredulous and didn't know how to answer that!

I continued making these profane calls to their 800 number - about 5
more calls - maybe 5-10 minutes apart.

Around the 6th or 7th call to them, a manager came on (I guess they'd
flagged the account) and actually attempted to verify (Finally!!!!!)
the personal data for the debtor. I gave bogus info (after all, I
don't know the guy's SSN or address) and the manager realized it
didn't match up to his system and told me that.

I responded: "Well that makes sense b/c I am NOT the debtor! Yet your
firm continues to make calls to me all day and night irritating me and
disrupting my sleep. Apparently, the debtor had my phone number before
I obtained it. Now, remove my phone number from your database, b/c if
you don't, I will continue to harass your call center and its staff as
retribution for your harassment of an innocent person, that would be

Needless to say, he removed my phone number and I've never heard from
them again. :)

Get creative - find a pay phone and do something similar to what I
did. Eventually, they'll realize they're screwing with the wrong
person...as well as someone who will harass the crap out of them. The
calls will then stop.

Best of luck!


Sexual favors from livestock by LadyMac Tue January 19, 2010 @ 5:42 PM

There should be a best of Planet Feedback by Teresa B. Tue January 19, 2010 @ 10:25 PM

Yes but the "roommate" presumably lives there, or supplied the phone number by Donno Wed January 20, 2010 @ 1:00 AM

that is so so wrong and sick - which is why i like it! >:-) by PepperElf Wed January 20, 2010 @ 5:50 PM

heheh! by Jared C. Thu January 21, 2010 @ 4:46 PM

HEY, Good for you! by fishbjc Mon January 25, 2010 @ 7:17 PM

by NathanG Posted Mon January 18, 2010 @ 10:45 AM

I had something similar when I got my new phone, for some reason I was
getting Collection calls for someone who wasnt me.

They gave me tons of information, even one person argued with me
saying that they knew I was so and so and pretending I wasnt wouldnt
make them go away.

At one point some rude lady gave me the first and last name, address,
amount owed, and who it was owed to.

I told her that I was going to mail the person explaining that you and
your company were giving me tons of personal information about him and
that I think they should consider a lawsuit and I would be happy to
testify on his behalf.

That was the last phone call I ever got.


oooo i like your methods >:-) n/t by PepperElf Mon January 18, 2010 @ 4:38 PM

I did something similar! by Jared C. Tue January 19, 2010 @ 2:32 PM

that was baaaaaaad (pun intended) >:-) nt by PepperElf Wed January 20, 2010 @ 5:52 PM

by Donno Posted Sun January 17, 2010 @ 10:04 PM

This is Wells Fargo calling. If this is a department within Wells
calling about a Wells Fargo account, the FDCA does not apply. They
are the first party.

I'm a bit surprised to hear all the recommendations of calling the
police, blasting noise in the caller's ear, blocking the calls. If
the debtor supplied this phone number, why shouldn't Wells expect to
find him/her there, and keep calling until they contact the person who
owes them money?

It isn't like there is no reason for Wells to be calling this number.
The resident or non-resident roommate is the person Wells is looking


you know maybe the OP should try this... by PepperElf Mon January 18, 2010 @ 4:37 PM

educate yourself, read the statute by legalbeagle Tue December 6, 2011 @ 9:33 AM

by PepperElf Posted Sun January 17, 2010 @ 8:27 PM

i would recommend contacting both the phone company and the police and
file a charge of harassment.

and that's the laws on the FDCPA

though i think the OP is already familiar with them

and it sounds like section 805(5) may also be something to bring up.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Sun January 17, 2010 @ 8:08 PM

Get a can of canned air like people use on boats and blast it into the
phone the next time they call, and the next time.

They'll get your number taken out of their system soon enough, I bet.


it also is known to do permanent hearing damage. even though the calls are disliked, it's not a good reason for causing physical damage to the employee n/t by PepperElf Sun January 17, 2010 @ 8:17 PM

I know, and I don't care by RedheadwGlasses Tue January 19, 2010 @ 1:05 PM

Wow. Pretty callous. by Gerrinson Wed January 20, 2010 @ 9:21 PM

not caring doesn't change the fact that it's ILLEGAL and assault with intent to do bodily harm. No one should EVER support physically damaging another human being just because they're a little miffed. n/t by PepperElf Wed January 27, 2010 @ 2:22 AM

Agreed. by Kalphoenix Thu January 21, 2010 @ 12:01 PM

by RowdyRetailer Posted Sun January 17, 2010 @ 9:14 AM

Dont answer the phone, or block the number

Good Day


by olie Posted Sat January 16, 2010 @ 9:33 PM

Wells Fargo calls your number because it's the number your former
roomie provided when applying for the account. Since you've been
providing Wells Fargo with information, they're keeping you as a

By providing some info, you have confirmed to Wells Fargo that
somebody at your phone/address may indeed be the person they're
looking for. This is why they continue to call you.

State clearly that you are NOT *former roommate's name*. State clearly
that Wells Fargo is NOT to call you at any time, as this is not your
debt. State clearly that you will report Wells Fargo to your state's
Attorney General's office. Have that name and snail-mail address
handy, so they know you're serious.

DO IT. Wisconsin also has a Department of Financial Institutions. If
your state has a similar department, tell Wells Fargo that you will
also call that department. Again, have name and snail-mail address

Many of us consider a postal address to be more "serious" than an
e-mail or phone number. The name of the department head or elected
official will resonate with Wells Fargo, too. They'll be alerted that
you are serious about these calls. Do not provide your own name,
address, cell, SSN, anything. Don't give your roommie's info, either.

Do not provide any more information to any CC company, even if it's
yours. Say "no comment" if they ask you to verify info you've already
given. Or, "There is no one here by the name of *Ex Roommate*. Under
the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, you may no longer call here.
Right now it is *time* on *date*, and I will be keeping a lot of when
you phone me about this debt that is not mine." Again, "No comment"
or "Not mine" or "Nobody here by that name. I'm hanging up now, and
I'll call XYZ about every phone call I receive from you from now on."


You may want to alert your former roommate that calls/letters are on
the way. Once. Other than that--No Comment.

Wells Fargo is trying hard to get someone--anyone--who might possibly
be responsible for the debt. Any info you give them digs YOU in as
well as your roommie.


by Donno Posted Sat January 16, 2010 @ 10:14 AM

You have provided a lot of details, but have not specified what
relationship you have to the person or why Wells Fargo has your phone
number. You say you know who the person is and where there are. You
haven't said why Wells has your number, but it is likely the target of
their inquiry provided it to them.

When you say you feel Wells put the burden on you, it isn't surprising
to hear you feel that way. You could put Wells and this individual in
touch with each other.

It sounds like Wells wants money back that your associate accepted
from them. I'm not surprised they are trying to get it back.

From the way I read this, your associate should apologize to you for
putting you in a bad situation.


actually it says roommate n/t by Michelle O. Sat January 16, 2010 @ 5:49 PM

Yes and by Donno Sat January 16, 2010 @ 6:33 PM

then you know how they got his phone number by Michelle O. Sun January 17, 2010 @ 9:55 AM

more misinformation by legalbeagle Tue December 6, 2011 @ 9:40 AM
by Palsgraf Posted Sat January 16, 2010 @ 2:39 AM

We had to change our phone number when we moved. Unfortuately, the
number the phone company gave us had recently belonged to someone who
wasn't paying his bills.

We'd get up to 10 calls a day. I'd tell the callers that there wasn't
any Bruce living there, but they'd keep calling and would always
refuse to tell me who they were.

I finally began announcing that, "beginning next month I'll claim to
be Bruce just to find out who you are and to put an end to this

The following month I kept my promise. "Yeh, this is Bruce, what do
you want." I learned the calls were from Sears. I took down their
mailing address and then said "A-ha! NOW I know who you are!" I told
her that the calls were going to end immediately.

That would have been a good time - no, a GREAT time - for her to
apologize for their harassing calls. But instead, she accused me of
lying to obtain personal financial information and threated me with
jail time.

To this day, I REFUSE to buy anything at Sears. I'm even lightly
afraid when I go in each month to pay my DiscoverCard bill each month
- afraid that a crazy angry woman will jump out from behind a large
appliance and start screaming that I'm going to jail for lying to
obtain personal financial information.

Okay ... enough about me. You're already a step ahead. You KNOW who's
harassing you. Try writing a letter to the FTC. Maybe your congressman
too. I'd also send Wells Fargo a bill, noting the date you first
explained that the person they were looking for was not at your number
and listing all subsequent harassing calls. Bill them $50 per call. Or
$100. Whatever seems fair to you. Be sure to include a due date, so
you can send them a past-due notice that includes a late fee. Also
assess 19.99% interest if you like. If they haven't forked-over the
cash after 90 or 120 days, consider turning it over to an attorney. Or
a debt collector! Have fun with it.

Best Wishes!


You can pay a Discover bill at Sears??? by olie Sat January 16, 2010 @ 9:16 PM

Sears started discover by nobodyknows Tue January 26, 2010 @ 5:39 AM

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