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Author Topic: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O  (Read 5978048 times)

wierd

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134445 on: June 07, 2018, 02:37:48 am »

*interned at a small collections agency one summer, LOOONG ago

Basically, debtors have toxic information. As soon as they enter their REAL phone number, various networks of systems scream "NO! DONT LEND MONEY! DONT TURN ON SERVICE, EVER!!" at the creditor as soon as the information is entered.

To get around that, toxic debtors will give made up/fake contact information in order to further milk the system, and get services they will of course, never pay for.

Because of this, numbers that belong to innocent third parties will get associated with a specific debtor as a provided point of contact, and the automated robots take over.

The result is innocent people getting cold-called by a collections agency, based on the "On file" contact information.  Of course, the name does not match, nor the address, nor anything else, because you never made the bill.  Some dickhead just gave a number at random that just so happened to be yours, and now you are getting the calls.

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Trekkin

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134446 on: June 07, 2018, 05:28:53 am »

The result is innocent people getting cold-called by a collections agency, based on the "On file" contact information.  Of course, the name does not match, nor the address, nor anything else, because you never made the bill.  Some dickhead just gave a number at random that just so happened to be yours, and now you are getting the calls.

Were this the case, though, I'd expect the number to match, and according to whoever I called back it appears nowhere in any of their systems. Thus why they were clueless as to what was going on.
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Greiger

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134447 on: June 07, 2018, 07:36:07 pm »

I have not owed anyone except very close family or friends money in over 10 years(and even then it was paid back the next day).  I have gone so long without owing anyone substantial money that according to the credit monitoring companies I do not exist. 

Yet I'm still constantly being called by debt collectors that claim I am a Stephen Aldrich, and that I owe them over $30,000 because I 'gave' them my phone number.  Or people calling claiming they will clear my debt and stop the calls if I only pay them a couple hundred. They spoof the phone numbers too so I can never tell it's them.  At this point I think it's costing them more to have the person on the other line ready to pick up when I accidentally pick up their robocall, than this Aldrich guy actually owes them.

There was also a short stint where people would call me claiming my dad owed them money shortly after my dad died, and that now I did, but fortunately I knew enough to be able to tell them off.  My dad was like me and had no debt, the estate went to my mom not me even if he HAD debt, and his 'estate' essentially just consists of a garage full of tools, a truck almost as old as I am, and his motorcycle which was totaled in the wreck.  We eventually had our lawyer handle that mess, since they were already doing the suit for the accident. It reportedly took our lawyer one call, he didn't even charge us.

Basically most debt collector companies seem to be assholes who don't give a rats ass if you actually legally owe them anything, they are still going to harrass you until you either settle with them, lawyer up, or you get a new phone number.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 07:37:57 pm by Greiger »
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JoshuaFH

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134448 on: June 07, 2018, 08:20:56 pm »

That seems highly illegal on their part.
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Frumple

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134449 on: June 07, 2018, 08:28:38 pm »

Dunno about highly, but there's non-zero odds it is. Problem being doing anything about it.

... though do note, sometimes settling with them also won't help. Some of these sorts of fuckers just keep going so long as they think they can get more money out of you.
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FallacyofUrist

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134450 on: June 07, 2018, 11:49:23 pm »

Try searching for "minerals" and "crystal geology" instead. That should filter the ridiculous results out.
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Reelya

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134451 on: June 08, 2018, 12:23:59 am »

You know, if there's one thing that's beginning to annoy me, it's that when I try to work out what a crystal is (For example, what that purple cubic crystal I have is (I think fluorite)) the first page of results is just "Crystals to aid your aura" and shit like that.

The WTF is that that kind of thing is so high in the Google search results. Do that many people actually subscribe to that nonsense?

High Google search rankings for crystal healing don't necessarily mean that lots of people believe in crystal healing. Non-believers don't google for crystals very often, and most sites about crystals are made by people who believe in it, so the sample is biased.

Eric Blank

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134452 on: June 08, 2018, 12:34:19 am »

That crystal mysticism thing is truly annoying. Try searching for something like "identifying minerals by physical properties" to find a guide on exactly that. Or better yet, go to your local library and see if they have any old geology textbooks you can use

If the mineral crystal isnt a perfect cube, but rather resembles two pyramids stacked with their bases touching, like a 3d diamond shape, that is a pretty good indicator that it could be fluorite, its a pretty distinctive structure. Fluorite also isnt particularly shiny, so although its usually transluscent it appears a bit duller than glass, kinda waxy. It is also softer than steel. If you have a steel knife, you should be able to scratch the side of it, it should not be able to scratch the flat of your knife if theres a protruding nub of it to rub on (dont confuse bits of the mineral rubbing off onto the blade as scratches) but should be harder than copper, so a penny or copper wire should not be able to scratch it.

Fluorite is also fluorescent. If you have a blacklight or other UV source, it should emit a visible blueish glow when exposed to that uv source in an otherwise dark room.

Some other things it could be are rock salt, gypsum or calcite with like magnesium oxide in it to give it a purple tint or something. They all have cubic-ish crystal structure. Calcite should dissolve and emit gas bubbles if you expose it to acids, like maybe distilled vinegar (but preferably diluted hydrochloric acid), rock salt and gypsum if crush should dissolve in heated diluted hydrochloric acid as well, rock salt of course tastes salty (dont lick it unless youre totally sure its.just salt) and gypsum probably tastes like drywall/plaster (because it is). Now that i think of it im not sure if fluorite is water soluble, hmm...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 12:46:12 am by Eric Blank »
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IcyTea31

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134453 on: June 08, 2018, 12:50:17 am »

The correct way to identify a crystal is by first trying to engrave Elbereth with it, then later rubbing it with a touchstone.
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EnigmaticHat

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134454 on: June 08, 2018, 01:47:19 am »

-snip-
Collection agencies are scum.  They'll never say anything substantive when they call you, because there are apps to record incoming calls.  But none (or at least nothing well known) for recording outgoing calls.  They also don't verify if the debt they're collecting on makes sense or is real.  8 months after I was in a car crash I got contacted by a collection agency asking for thousands of dollars.  Turns out my insurance company had already offered the other guy's insurance company money and they had for whatever reason not responded, instead handing my debt over to a collection agency without contacting me or my insurance company.  Literally one phone call was all it took to resolve the entire matter but the collection agency never bothered to make that phone call.  And because collection agencies are sketchy as fuck and treat everyone like criminals, the way they contacted me did not make it clear what the money was even for.  I guess they figured I'd already know that I was in debt, even tho I had never borrowed any money and my debt was basically made up.  It took some doing to even figure out which agency was contacting me.  Can't be liable if no one knows who you are, hurr durr durr.

PSA: in the US you never owe money because of dead family members and its illegal to contact you about it.  The can take it from your inheritance, not you.  A quick google search reveals the only exceptions vary state by state and are, of course, related to medical bills because USA.  Hospitals are used to not seeing money from their patients so you're still in the position of power there.
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Trekkin

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134455 on: June 08, 2018, 01:51:44 am »

The weird thing is the one thing they could confirm, when I called them back again after they called again in the middle of work, was that my number isn't in any way related to a delinquent account. They apparently don't want my money.
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wierd

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134456 on: June 08, 2018, 02:30:40 am »

now, THAT *IS* unusual. (both things.)

Usually false positives like that stem from either an old contact with that number (Delinquent Dan hooks up with sleezy suzie, and they use her phone number and address to get some service or whatever. They of course, default, and now suzie is listed as a point of contact for Dan. Now, they let the number lapse, or get a new number, or [insert mechanism for number becoming available here], yet the credit reporting agencies dont record that this has happened. Suzie's old number now belongs to Innocent Ian, who has never been involved with Suzie, or Dan. He just has their old number. Collections agency will call Ian, demand to speak with Suzie or Dan. Ian, naturally-- says neither live there. In fact, he has no idea who they are. The collections agency does not buy it-- Dan and Susie lie to collectors all the damn time, and "they arent here" is a fan favorite. Before they will expunge that datapoint, they need to corroborate that the number has indeed changed. The requirements for that process vary from agency to agency, but are usually a multi-point requirement based system of some sort. (Several bits of evidence need to converge to prove that you are indeed who you say you are, and that you are not their lieing cousin larry, covering for them once again.) Should you succeed in getting the datapoint for the phone number expunged, it has to percolate through all the many layers of the debt collection industry, before other agencies get the hint. (Dan likely has many debts being sought through many agencies.) 

It COULD be that yours is a condition where your number is being flagged by one system, using a datapoint that has been expunged in another system.  (say--- let's assume that the debt is to a phone company-- the very one that issued the phone number.  That phone company KNOWS that Dan no longer has that number. They know that, because they issued it to somebody else-- in this case, Ian.  They inform one agency that the contact number for Dan is no longer valid for that debt, and that they need to correlate a new one based on more recent debt records. That agency expunges the records, but the credit report still has the old number as the point of contact. The cold-call list gets generated based on the credit report, which still has the obsolete data-- So an agent calls Ian--- Ian tells the agent "Not me, please double check your records."  The agent double checks-- indeed, that number is no longer associated with Dan (as the original credit extender has informed the agency, and the record was expunged for that number)-- however, humans running the cold calling system did not properly integrate the two systems, so it keeps spitting out that number.

Automated clusterfucks like that are one of the many reasons the (now closed-- the owners got too old to continue, and closed up the business) agency I interned at still relied on manually and meticulously maintained paper records.  No robots giving nonsense instructions to agents to call people, since the numbers in the file were immediately reflective of the current situation after manual revision. The operators of that agency would create the next day's call list based on the data available after the prior day's operations came to a close.

(others being data integrity against loss from viruses, malicious software, and botched database management. They were frequently utilized as "hard copy" backup services by several other agencies that were frequently plagued by such issues.)

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Trekkin

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134457 on: June 08, 2018, 02:54:45 am »

That would make sense, given the six-month period after I got my current number during which random people would call to ask in broken Spanish if I could do yard work for them.

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wierd

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134458 on: June 08, 2018, 03:32:00 am »

I admit, it was quite a treat listening to the agents in the next room (I mostly did bulk form production; things like mass produced boilerplate forms with names inserted, etc. I did not deal with debtors directly. I occasionally did file maintenance, once it was determined that I knew how to evaluate data sources and condense them, then append to the debtor's file in a reliably consistent manner.), as they would have literally *EVERYTHING* the agency had on that debtor, their debts, their recent credit card purchase history (via the credit reporting infrastructure), and a host of other information RIGHT THERE at their, IN THEIR HANDS. Sorted by date, address, relevance, and a host of other factors.

I expect it would be a bit like trying to argue with an officer of a secret police. :P  Tried and true staples like "I can't afford that right now!" would be met with "Really? So, that 2000$ laptop you bought last week on [insert date, time, store] using your VISA card is somehow more affordable than the 300$ debt you owe the phone company? DO explain." on a pretty regular basis.

To be fair, the people that had just a single outstanding debt were usually mortified when it went to collections, and would bend over backwards to either find out how the debt occurred, or to remedy the debt quickly and efficiently. The agency I interned at would always treat them with courtesy and good candor, and would work with them through all stages of that process, even if it resulted in a non-payment to the agency.  No, it was the "repeat offenders" with files that were literally several inches thick of hard copy, with numerous debts--- those were the great ones to hear getting a successful contact on. :P
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scourge728

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #134459 on: June 08, 2018, 06:42:08 am »

Wierd I am disappointed in you for not using dirty dan
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