Thursday, February 24, 2005

Unlisted My Ass

I have an unlisted phone number. I thought that meant that no one can look up my phone number and my number would not show up anywhere I didn't want it to. Well I was wrong. Let me tell you about skip tracing. Two days ago, I started to receive phone calls from MBNA regarding my mothers account. My number is not listed on her account and my mother does not have my home phone number(due to a falling out about a year ago). Only close friends and people I do business with have my number. On the first call, my wife told them that she does not live here and we have no contact with her. She also told them that our number is unlisted and doesn't understand where they got the number. They called three more times that day.

Yesterday, I contacted a lady named Christina at the Federal Trade Commission. I filed a complaint. The complaint was based on the fact that they somehow tracked my number down, even though I have nothing to do with the account and my number is unlisted. She recommended that I call the NC State Attorney Generals office as well. Today, I got in contact with Rosemary at the State AG Office. She said that there is nothing they could do to help me. She also added that MBNA probably used a method called Skip Tracing. This is where you search records on the internet to find information. If you have ever filled out an application for anything and it was put in a computer anywhere, your information exists. Here are a bunch of links to skip tracing sites: .

MBNA will not call anymore. They have been warned about a lawsuit. This method of collections is a bit disturbing though. If you have ever filled out an application you probably included your SS# as well. In a time where identity theft is looming so large, you would think that the government would crack down on these practices, but they don't. I would understand the law enforcement agencies right to skip trace, but a credit card company? What gives them the right? Be aware, be very aware. Your information, as much as you think it is hidden and safe, is open for the taking and big brother is turning it's head at such practices. You are exposed and you are now warned.
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