Hang-Ups: Not House Thieves Anymore

Posted on January 7, 2010


When I was a boy, they taught kids to call the police if no one was there when they answered the phone. The ostensible reason was that house thieves would call to see if someone was home. If no one answered, they could break in and rob you. Now, how the thieves knew which phone number went with which house was never explained (apparently reverse directories were the house thief’s best friend).

Today, it’s a collection technique. Bill collectors and collection agencies will put your number in their robo-dialer and call you several times per day. They block caller ID, so you have no idea who is calling you. They’re hoping that you will call the number back and then they can make an attempt to collect the debt.

Obviously I would never advocate anyone skipping out on their responsibilities. If you owe a debt, you should pay it. That said, if you are getting mystery phone calls, put that number right into your favorite search engine and see what pops out. It could be a wrong number, where they hang up instead of admitting their mistake. It could be a debt collector. Or it could be house thieves.