I was catching up on my school reading when my home phone rang at about 9:30 PM. I figured it was one of my parents since everyone else calls me on my cell phone and answered.
Quick background, I have a very very basic home phone service. No caller ID, voice mail or even answering machine and I don’t even have long distance capabilities on it. My cell phone has all those services included in the plan so I only used my home phone to dial into my company’s network. When I finally got DSL I kept the home in operation to make those just in case calls and so I wouldn’t “burn up” my cell phone minutes when I worked from home.
To make a long story longer, the person asked for me and then proceeded to tell me that my number was listed as an alternative telephone number for my little brother. That was news to me because I don’t think my little brother even knows my home number. I can count on one hand the number of times I talk to him in a year and that’s just because we’re not particularly close and we generally catch up when we see each other on holidays and over IM. The person on the phone identified himself very quickly and then asked me for a way to reach my brother. I was a taken aback because 1) I had no idea what this was about and 2) I was weirded out that they called me looking for a way to reach my brother. Since I don’t give out anyone’s number all willy nilly I asked the caller to tell me his name again and where he was calling from.
Now here is where things got a little bit dicey. The dude on the phone immediately got snippy and then tried to use some scare tactics such as “I know your bro is still in XXXXXXX (to use The OE’s term) and that it was in his best interest to contact them. That’s when the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I got a little bit pissy and said I’m not giving him any information until he tells me what this is about. That’s when dude said I’m not going to waste any more of your time and said goodbye, so I hung up.
Remember that scene on the Chappelle show in the “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong” segment and the girl receives a wrong number? Well that’s how I felt so I called my brother who assured me he didn’t have any clue as to why the person called me and that he was current on all his bills. Then I “Starred 69” the number and then gave it to my brother. I could have called what appeared to be a bill collector back to give him a tongue lashing but I saw what happened when folks “kept it real” and really it’s none of my business.
I’m just trying to figure out how in the world they received my number since I’m pretty sure my brother 1) doesn’t have it and 2) why would he give out my number as an alternative when he could easily have given them my dad’s number or a fake one.
I saw a 20/20 episode one day about the scare and illegal tactics bill collectors use to try to intimidate folks who owe money and if there are any out there reading this:
“I hate when mofos ‘be’ playing on my phone”