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Ask Dave

Getting Off the Lists

Sandy has been receiving calls from debt collectors. She doesn't owe any money and can't get the calls to stop. How can she get her number off these lists, and should she be worried about identity theft?

QUESTION: Sandy in New York City has been receiving calls from debt collectors for the last three years. She doesn’t owe any money and can’t get the collections calls to stop. How can she get her number off these lists, and should she be worried about identity theft?

ANSWER: It may be an indicator that your identity has been stolen somewhere. It’s just dangerous because, for some reason, whoever this is doing fraudulent apps apparently has latched on to your phone number, which scares me that they’ve latched on to the rest of your identity as well.

You should compare the differences between Zander Insurance’s identity theft protection and LifeLock. I prefer Zander, and the reason I prefer them is that should identity theft actually occur, they will assign a counselor—a caseworker—to you to fix the problem. In this case, if you could get a hold of one of the collectors that’s actually doing it—get their phone number—you could turn that over to Zander’s folks, and they would work it for you and try to run it back up the chain and try to find it and put an end to it.

I think it’s going to be a little difficult since it is a phone number that they’re using. From a practical standpoint, what I would do is put a block on your phone that unless there’s caller ID coming through, it blocks it and you can block particular companies from getting through to you.

If you could narrow it down to one location, then we’d know what to do with it, but the problem is it’s coming from several different places. Somebody’s just out there wandering the earth with your phone number using it inappropriately. I don’t know how to stop that unless we can find that person, which obviously would be a monumental task. I wish I could be more help.