Personal Finance

collection agent called me

  • Last Updated:
  • May 18th, 2020 3:46 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 4, 2020
175 posts
31 upvotes

collection agent called me

Hi
I do not have any debt. I pay my credit card on time, few times late but do not have any outstanding issue. Last week I got a call from a collection company. First a guy called and said are you such and such, when I said yes, he said he wanted to verify and hang up! That bothered me so I called back the number and I ask why you called and who are you? The other agent said we are PRA group https://www.pra-group.ca , but we wont discuss with you anything unless give us case number etc. So I hanged up. I thought they are scam company but they have website etc.

My questions:

1) Why they are calling me when I know I do not have any debt?
2) Is it good idea to ask for my credit report? If yes, which company do you recommend? I did search and found for example Equifax do that for free but I was not comfortable providing my personal info. What do you think about that? because I want to know if I have any debt by mistake or something.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
16 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 18, 2005
20032 posts
4592 upvotes
Burlington-Hamilton
Definitely get your credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion. Don't pay anything. They both have mechanisms to get free reports, but often hide the info on how to do it, so you'll pay money.

It's possible you're victim of identity theft. A criminal could have created debt in your name.

Collection companies are often incompetent, and can call because it's someone with the same name, etc. If their mouth is moving, they're lying.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 19, 2010
6237 posts
2968 upvotes
lwlwlwlw wrote: Hi
I do not have any debt. I pay my credit card on time, few times late but do not have any outstanding issue. Last week I got a call from a collection company. First a guy called and said are you such and such, when I said yes, he said he wanted to verify and hang up! That bothered me so I called back the number and I ask why you called and who are you? The other agent said we are PRA group https://www.pra-group.ca , but we wont discuss with you anything unless give us case number etc. So I hanged up. I thought they are scam company but they have website etc.

My questions:

1) Why they are calling me when I know I do not have any debt?
2) Is it good idea to ask for my credit report? If yes, which company do you recommend? I did search and found for example Equifax do that for free but I was not comfortable providing my personal info. What do you think about that? because I want to know if I have any debt by mistake or something.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
Just how would you expect to gain access to such personal information without providing them with personal information to be able to identify you? :rolleyes:

BTW, they have more information about you than you do.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
7960 posts
3246 upvotes
Financial District B…
Conquistador wrote: Just how would you expect to gain access to such personal information without providing them with personal information to be able to identify you? :rolleyes:

BTW, they have more information about you than you do.
I guess he just wants a 'free report' without telling Eq who he is
What info would that free report even contain?
----------------------------Licensed Credit Bureau member, S1, FI Automotive, CCP forums most banned = x 13 and counting, guess who that is?... stomped to the curb once again
Member
User avatar
Jan 15, 2009
458 posts
146 upvotes
Toronto
When I just graduated from high school many years ago, I got a call from a collection agency too. I don't even have a credit card back then. I actually went to their office to review the documents that they had on 'me'. It turns out that they had a match on that person's middle name and my middle name only. I went to the nearest police station to report it but the cop basically told me that they make mistakes of identity all the time. While I was talking to 1 cop, the other sitting in the back was snickering at me, I guess because I was so shaken by such a minor event (to him). Anyway, I'm sure you already know how to deal with such callers from now on having made that mistake already.
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
1555 posts
1959 upvotes
Unless they contact you again and ask for payment it could just as easily be a mistaken attempt to identify the tel #/current address of someone with a similar name. Ignore for now.

Have had collection agents come to my door mistaking me for someone else with a nearly identical name.
Newbie
Dec 13, 2019
5 posts
3 upvotes
A similar situation happened to me. A collection agency called me, and asked me to verify my name and number. Instead of giving them my personal information right away, I first confirmed online if they were a legit company. You can use the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to verify if the company is legit (link). The company was legit, so I sent an email to the email address on file with the Ministry with my first name and phone number asking them to confirm if they are contacting me, and to provide written notice to my email address. In my case the agency contacted me mistakenly twice.

In your case you may have been contacted mistakenly, if you are confident you do not have any outstanding debts. You can check your credit report for free from Equifax or Transunion, but it costs around ~$30. Or, you can use a third party like Borrowell that provides your credit report for free. How they make money is by recommending credit products based on your credit score. I personally recommend Borrowell because you get the same report that you would from Equifax, and because Borrowell recommends relevant credit products. I would check this month and next month's credit report, however the new debt may not show up because the credit agency has to confirm the person's name and address before they can give written notice. So even if nothing is currently on your report it's possible something may show up in the future if it hasn't been reported yet. Since the company is legit send an email to "compliance@pra-group.ca" (I found their email from the ministry's website, with your first name and phone number asking to confirm if they are trying to contact you and if they are, provide you with written notice. Good luck.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2013
5394 posts
2498 upvotes
gulfstream
Conquistador wrote: Just how would you expect to gain access to such personal information without providing them with personal information to be able to identify you? :rolleyes:

BTW, they have more information about you than you do.
and what info would that be??...nothing but a debt your name and contact info

they have no access to bank info or personal finances...nor do they a right to it..

Good friend used to manage collections for about 10 years...he "disclosed" lots of secrets about that shady business...when to pay, what to offer, when you dont have to pay , what they can do...etc

they have no info except what is public record.
Deal Addict
Jun 18, 2018
1327 posts
819 upvotes
Toronto
Never confirm or provide your personal information, deny everything and do your own due diligence.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
1570 posts
556 upvotes
Toronto, ON
To the OP: you can get a free credit report from Equifax and Transunion, by mail or fax. You will need to send them copies of your ID. This is safe; you can easily verify that you are sending your info to Equifax and Transunion (as opposed to a random website). In my experience mail is better because if you fax them your ID they might mail you back something saying it wasn't clear enough.

Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/ecm/canada/EFXC ... stForm.pdf
Transunion: https://www.transunion.ca/resources/tra ... orm_en.pdf

I do not suggest using the automated phone line if you have never seen your credit report before, because you will probably be unable to answer their security questions.

The free report does not include your score. Once you have your report, you can easily answer the security questions for some of the free online resources (Ratehub gives you Equifax and Credit Karma gives you Transunion), which will provide you your score at no cost. You can do this indefinitely.
You can check your credit report for free from Equifax or Transunion, but it costs around ~$30.
That was written in a confusing way. You can get a free report, but you have to pay $20 to $30 to Equifax and Transunion if you want your score as well. Worse, you're signing up for a subscription, so they'll charge you that every month. Why pay that when you get your credit score for free?
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1584 posts
732 upvotes
Canada
lwlwlwlw wrote: Hi
I do not have any debt. I pay my credit card on time, few times late but do not have any outstanding issue. Last week I got a call from a collection company. First a guy called and said are you such and such, when I said yes, he said he wanted to verify and hang up! That bothered me so I called back the number and I ask why you called and who are you? The other agent said we are PRA group https://www.pra-group.ca , but we wont discuss with you anything unless give us case number etc. So I hanged up. I thought they are scam company but they have website etc.

My questions:

1) Why they are calling me when I know I do not have any debt?
2) Is it good idea to ask for my credit report? If yes, which company do you recommend? I did search and found for example Equifax do that for free but I was not comfortable providing my personal info. What do you think about that? because I want to know if I have any debt by mistake or something.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
Depending on who you bank with, you can also get your credit report online for free (i.e. RBC, BMO, CIBC, Scotiabank, etc.). Otherwise, you can also get one from Borrowell and Credit Karma
Newbie
Dec 13, 2019
5 posts
3 upvotes
FoFai2015 wrote: That was written in a confusing way. You can get a free report, but you have to pay $20 to $30 to Equifax and Transunion if you want your score as well. Worse, you're signing up for a subscription, so they'll charge you that every month. Why pay that when you get your credit score for free?
You're right that you can get a free credit report from Equifax or TransUnion (more info here). I used to pay Equifax $20-30 because, I'm not comfortable sending 2 copies of my IDs and proof of address by mail/fax. For me it's pretty easy to call them to cancel the reoccurring payment, because I know all my account details. Anyway after using Borrowell, I figured out the credit report provided from Borrowell has the same information from Equifax. And now I also realize TransUnion provides free online access to the credit report created by them once a month. Since Equifax and TransUnion are the two main credit bureaus in Canada, I'd recommend somehow getting the credit report generated by each company because there may be discrepancies between the two. Whether that's from a bank or by requesting it from the credit bureaus directly, just choose the method that's easiest.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 4, 2020
175 posts
31 upvotes
Thank you all for the help and reply. Here is an update
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I went to Borrowell website and created a free account and saw my credit report. I saw I have an account with this bank

DUO BANK

I never applied for an account from that bank. I am planning to call them Monday. The account has $0, thanks god but I now think someone created that account using my name etc. Other than that, I see my account clean and I have some money to pay my credit card but is not due yet so I will take care of it another time. Also I read this "There are no collections on your credit report."

Now what do you think? I think the collection agency is scamming me but I also worry why I have account with that bank. Thank you very much again.

Another update sorry:
+++++++++++++

Who is DUO bank? I google it and they do not have ph#!! I see they acquired fairston financial and that was in the news. Very fishy company and name. Thank you.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
7960 posts
3246 upvotes
Financial District B…
lwlwlwlw wrote: Thank you all for the help and reply. Here is an update
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I went to Borrowell website and created a free account and saw my credit report. I saw I have an account with this bank

DUO BANK

I never applied for an account from that bank. I am planning to call them Monday. The account has $0, thanks god but I now think someone created that account using my name etc. Other than that, I see my account clean and I have some money to pay my credit card but is not due yet so I will take care of it another time. Also I read this "There are no collections on your credit report."

Now what do you think? I think the collection agency is scamming me but I also worry why I have account with that bank. Thank you very much again.

Another update sorry:
+++++++++++++

Who is DUO bank? I google it and they do not have ph#!! I see they acquired fairston financial and that was in the news. Very fishy company and name. Thank you.
DUO Bank is Walmarts Credit Card - You must have a Walmart card?
They just closed the purchasing of Fairstone Financial (was Citi bank Financial Canada) but that won't happen until end of summer.
----------------------------Licensed Credit Bureau member, S1, FI Automotive, CCP forums most banned = x 13 and counting, guess who that is?... stomped to the curb once again
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 4, 2020
175 posts
31 upvotes
Thank you. I had walmart card long time ago after the cashier pressured me to get one but I never activated. Now it makes sense. Thank you.
Jr. Member
May 17, 2018
140 posts
36 upvotes
lwlwlwlw wrote: Thank you all for the help and reply. Here is an update
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I went to Borrowell website and created a free account and saw my credit report. I saw I have an account with this bank

DUO BANK

I never applied for an account from that bank. I am planning to call them Monday. The account has $0, thanks god but I now think someone created that account using my name etc. Other than that, I see my account clean and I have some money to pay my credit card but is not due yet so I will take care of it another time. Also I read this "There are no collections on your credit report."

Now what do you think? I think the collection agency is scamming me but I also worry why I have account with that bank. Thank you very much again.

Another update sorry:
+++++++++++++

Who is DUO bank? I google it and they do not have ph#!! I see they acquired fairston financial and that was in the news. Very fishy company and name. Thank you.

So the best thing to do in this case of the collector calling you is to deny any overdue account. Do not give them personally info. Anytime they start arguing with you on the phone (if you speak with them) is to say, “I monitor my credit reports, and I have no overdue accounts”

They may say something like “it’s on your report” or “it will be on there”.

Simply put, if it’s over 6/7 years, in Ontario Equifax and transunion will not let it stay on. If they re-age the account to get it back on there, that’s fraud. And an easy fix with disputing it
Newbie
Jan 3, 2007
92 posts
3 upvotes
Calgary
FoFai2015 wrote: To the OP: you can get a free credit report from Equifax and Transunion, by mail or fax. You will need to send them copies of your ID. This is safe; you can easily verify that you are sending your info to Equifax and Transunion (as opposed to a random website). In my experience mail is better because if you fax them your ID they might mail you back something saying it wasn't clear enough.

Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/ecm/canada/EFXC ... stForm.pdf
Transunion: https://www.transunion.ca/resources/tra ... orm_en.pdf

I do not suggest using the automated phone line if you have never seen your credit report before, because you will probably be unable to answer their security questions.
Actually you can call Equifax to get your free credit report quite easily. All I had to do is enter my SIN, birthdate, house/unit number, and postal code. No other security questions need to be answered. It was quite easy and painless. I have not tried TransUnion yet.

https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/contact-us/

Top