fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

What does John Smith do?

There are approximately 80,000 people in the U.S. with my first name.

There are about 2500 people in the U.S. with my last name.

It is not all that unlikely that there is at least one other person in the U.S. with the same first name and last name, particularly since both names are closely associated with a particular ethnicity.

However, that person is, apparently, a deadbeat, and therein lies the problem. I had several messages on my answering machine a while back from "Portfolio Recovery Services." Since they never identified what this was in relation to and just told me to call a toll-free number, I assumed they were junk calls. Eventually, they reached me while I was home (and answering the phone - something I often let the machine take care of, given the imperfections of the "do not call" list) and told me they were a collection agency and were calling regarding "my car in New York City."

Since I haven't lived in NYC since I was 3 years old and never had either a driver's license nor a car in New York State, this was news to me. The caller then provided an address on 96th Street for the person they were trying to reach. I was able to persuade them that it had to be some other person of the same name as I had never lived in Manhattan, never mind 96th Street.

The answering machine messages stopped. But tonight I got a call again from them. (I was expecting a call from somebody else, which is why I answered the phone.) This time, it was in relation to a "Consolidated Edison account". Again, I have never had a Con Ed account. The only places in which I have had any utility accounts were in California and Virginia. The caller just said she would put this into the disputed file.

That sounded considerably less convincing to me. I believe I need to report this to some sort of authorities, but I have no idea who the right people are. In the absence of anything better to do, I will probably call the police and report it as suspected identity theft, but I'm not sure it really meets the definition of that. But I assume they would know what the right thing to do is.
Tags: stupidity

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