I’ve long had trouble with collection agencies and state agencies looking for money. Yet, I always pay all my bills-not only on time, but early. I am almost a Platonic form of fiscal responsibility.
Despite that, my phone rings a few times each month with vaguely menacing calls from collection agencies, state tax agencies and other people looking for money owed. Here is how it often plays out:
Caller: “Hello, this is Jean from XYZ Collection/State Tax/Whatever Agency. Can I speak to (some first name other than “Mike”) La…LaBroo..LaBoo…”
Me: “No. I’m the only LaBossiere here and my first name is ‘Mike.'”
Caller: “Well, do you know where I can reach Shaquita/Elaine/Rosco/Fidel/Whatever?”
Me: “Sorry, no. We just have the same last name. But, I’m curious-why call me?”
Caller: “Thank you for your time.”
What I suspect is that the collection/tax/whatever agencies just use the internet and other sources to find the same last name and a phone number. Then they presumably just call all the numbers they find. I’ve gotten calls from state tax agencies from other states (Florida has no state tax), and collection agencies from around the country, all looking for someone who happens to have my last name.
I can understand their desire to get their money from these folks, but I would prefer it if they would do their research a bit better. It is rather annoying to have to talk to the collection folk. I also worry a bit that someday I’ll see a tow truck hauling away my pickup, all because “Shaquita”, “Rosco” or “Bill” didn’t make their car payments and happened to have the same last name as me.
My last name is fairly uncommon, so perhaps this sort of thing doesn’t happen to most people. For example, I suspect that the collection folks don’t call every Smith in the country. Then again, maybe they do.