After a couple months of calls, I finally picked up on a call at 8:14am figuring there was likely to be a human on the other end.
I could tell from the Caller ID it was likely a debt collector and sure enough it was. A Ms. Dawkins asked for me and began referencing a Master Card from "Orchard Bank" that "is in our office." She also dropped in a disclaimer that the call was in reference to collecting a debt. I asked her to repeat herself.
When it was clear she was calling about an account that I had never heard of, I asked her my Social Security number. "The last four digits?" she said. I said that would do, and she rattled off four incorrect ones.
I told her she had the wrong person and hung up.
If experience holds, a different person will call in the next few days from a different number and claim that I have a son with that name who lives with me and owns the debt. I will then have to ask for a supervisor and threaten legal action to get the calls to stop.
Understand that I was an investigative reporter for many years. It is very, very easy to do a search looking for someone when you have their SS #, in fact, it is the first thing you would do were you actually interested in finding the right person. Portfolio Recovery and its ilk obviously are NOT interested in finding the correct persons. They just want plausible deniability as they go about bullying people into paying off someone else's bad debts.
If you ever get these sorts of calls, ask for the SS # they are working from -- sometimes they slip up and give you the complete one. In one instance I used that info to find the REAL guy they were looking for and then asked a supervisor to explain how they had not done the same. He got off the phone real fast. So fast it makes made wonder if they do not collect multiple times on the same debt, but I guess that is the old reporter in me.