5 On Your Side

Woman Hopes to Hang Up on Wrong Numbers

Posted May 16, 2007

— Most wrong-number calls are resolved with a simple explanation, and both the caller and the recipient go their own ways. But that hasn't been the case for Nancy Boykin.

Boykin bought a prepaid wireless phone from TracFone in February and said she started getting calls and voice-mail messages for Tiffany Shuler almost immediately.

"I have no idea who she is and never even heard of her until all of these calls started coming in," Boykin said. "I want it to stop."

Over the last couple of months, she has logged dozens of calls. Most of the calls are from three phone numbers, two of which connect to an Iowa-based photography company.

"It appeared that he didn't believe what I was telling him because he kept calling me back," she said.

After repeated conversations with the company, she said she was finally assured representatives wouldn't call again.

"Within 20 minutes after I hung up with them, I got another call," she said.

So Boykin started pressing the phone's "Ignore" button whenever she got a call from one of the numbers and called 5 on Your Side to get the ringing to stop.

Officials with the photography company told 5 on Your Side that Shuler is a freelancer they once used. They said they removed Boykin's phone number from their computer and every other possible file.

The third number that shows up dozens of times on Boykin's phone log belongs to a collection service that continues to call despite  her pleas to stop. When 5 on Your Side called the company, a spokeswoman said she would look into the matter.

After a call from 5 on Your Side, TracFone agreed to give Boykin a new cell number so she wouldn't continue to receive calls for Shuler.

Just how these companies got that phone number for Shuler remains a mystery. The cell phone provider that owned the number before TracFone told 5 on Your Side that it has no record of Shuler ever using the number.


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  • 2alegal May 18, 2007

    Can 5 on your side help get rid of drug thugs in a neighborhood??

  • Bodhi126 May 18, 2007

    I ahve the sameprobelm with my cellphone. I'vehad it for 3 1/2 years and STILL get phone calls for a guy that had hte number before me. Apparently it was his business phone b/c they either ask for him or the company name. The Better Business Bureau has called a few times for them too, so at least I know not to use his comany. Its always interesting when they argue with you about it too.

  • Greene Giant May 17, 2007

    For many of you who don't know, some collection agencies tend to do whatever they want, especially with the phone calls. But be especially careful with them due to the ridiculous law about debt. You have 30 days to respond to these allegations to the agencies, or they may be construde as yours legally. Some agencies try this. They can get your name from just about anywhere, especially the internet and make the debts of others....yours. Don't think so? Try talking to many of the people who have identity thefts. The Feds and the state need to start having an 800 hotline set up to start investigating not only thefts, but the agencies who don't care. So how about it NC. What are you going to do about it? It's good to know 5 on your side is there for people. So why can't the state do the same? I too was harrassed. I told them they were wrong. But they told me that I might be hiding the person. The phone was not mine, but that of the company I worked for.

  • JustDontUnderstandPpl May 17, 2007

    For those of you who suggest "just get a new number": this can be a real hassle. Think of all the companies you have given your number to and all the friends and family. When you tell a bill collector that they have the wrong number and they continue to harrass, they should receive a penalty of some sort. It is ridiculous to have to put yourself out for someone else's stupidity.

  • SOCLOSE May 17, 2007

    I resolved to changing my home phone # awhile back b/c of this very same thing. The piece of cake was when I told a rep she had the WRONG NUMBER, and the heifer asked me if I knew how to get in touch with the guy!!!! DUH!!!... if you have the wrong #, then obviously, I don't know the person. You know I had to give her a piece of my mind.

  • All child molesters should die May 17, 2007

    My husband has a very common name and has had many collection agencies call for "him," when in fact it was the other guy. My husband has the other guys SS#, which is a big help, since the guy was a fraud!

    This sort of thing is very irritating!

    (This post is being copied for possible submitment to WRAL, if warranted).

  • Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr May 17, 2007

    Man, 5 On Your Side is really tackling some tough issues these days. What a joke.

  • special k May 17, 2007

    this happens to me all the time where they call looking for my sister who used to live with me - i tell them she no longer lives with me and give them her new number but they continue to call at odd hours of the night - i've had the same phone number for 20 years so i don't want to change it - people at these companies are crazy

  • jfc516242 May 17, 2007

    When Times like this happens; Change your number... When you do, asker you phone provider to issue you a number that has not been used. They can do that, for a while atleast. All phone companies have certain numbers in reserve for such occations.
    I did it, so can you!!!

  • owlady May 17, 2007

    This is a very common problem. It has taken me 5 years to get rid of collection agencies from calling a person who use to have my land-line phone number. Obviously, people who are trying to stop those calls just get new numbers, and the unsuspecting new customers get those old numbers from the bad debtors. It really is a hassle. Guess we ALL should call 5 On YOur Side. !!!