Interviewer: How do you find out who is calling you? I have received plenty of calls and hang ups over the years from all kinds of places. You can tell it is the same place calling you sometimes. It is just a phone number. It is like air. How do you trace it back to the company?
Andrew: That is a very good question and there is no real good answer. My suggestion, if you are starting to get calls to your cell phone, is take a photo of your call history. This is because if you do not answer your cell phone, according to the cell phone company, the call never happened. There is no record.
To preserve the record, you want to take a photo of your call history. Write down the number that called you and then go on to Google and type in the number. You will get sites called 1-800 notes or Who Called Me. There are all sorts of sites. If it is a real problem caller, you will see other people complaining.
Again, you will see other people complaining about the call and what was said on the call. Some people have gone and researched that number. The problem is some of these real shady payday loan debt collectors will spoof the number. Spoofing means they hide the real caller ID number. They might call and put the caller ID of a utility company or cell phone carriers.
Interviewer: How does Google Voice or Skype hide what number a call is coming from?
Andrew: That technology, voice over internet protocol, really tends to confuse people. It confuses law enforcement as well. It is almost impossible to trace. It is difficult and that is why you do want to answer the call.
You want to hear what they are saying. You want to hear what they are talking about so you can identify who they are. Then, you have more data than just the phone number.
Interviewer: It sounds like the best way to try to get information from the collector, or whoever is calling you, is by playing nice and documenting it. Then you can use that later to get them, if you really want to get them.
Andrew: Exactly. There is that phrase about using honey.
Interviewer: Do you mean use honey to attract flies, instead of vinegar?
Andrew: Exactly. You have to be nice. You have to be cooperative in order for them to continue to call. That pretty much works anytime in life, and let them talk and talk. The information they give you is just giving them rope to hang themselves. That is what you have to do. You have to get as much information from them as you can.
Interviewer: This sounds tricky.