Dave Ramsey is a money management expert whose nationally syndicated radio program is heard by 4.5 million listeners each week on more than 450 radio stations throughout the United States.
I recently received a call from a debt collector. I don’t owe this company anything, but they asked for the last four digits of my Social Security number. When I refused to tell them, they said the calls would continue. Is it OK to give them the information to stop the calls?
Dave Says: Make sure you get the company and caller’s name, a physical address and the name of a supervisor before you do anything else. If they’ll give you this information, chances are they’re a somewhat legitimate collector fishing everyone with your name trying to track down the right person. If four digits will get them out of your life, I’d probably do it. But I’d first want a little proof of legitimacy on their part. Don’t tell them a thing if they won’t give you this information, though. And don’t let them con you into thinking they’re calling the shots. You can make the calls stop by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If they want to get ugly, you can put a trace on the calls and inform them that you’ll be recording any and all conversations from this point forward. Tell them that you’ll do your best to have the attorney general pay them a visit, too. In other words, let them know they’ve bothered the wrong dog, and you’ll take a bite out of them!