I use to frequent online forums for topics concerning unpaid credit credit card debts. I was having the same dilemma back then, and because this is not commonly being discussed face to face, I understand why a lot of us resort to online message boards to talk about it. What I observed from reading everyone else’s stories is that, a lot of people are surprised at how these debt collectors found them when they already changed their numbers, and have moved to different locations. The answers are simple, and they’re mostly in the internet.
1. Social Media. It is very easy to find someone on social media. Just type in a old friend or acquaintance’s name on Facebook’s search bar and there’s a high chance that you will find them. You can even use phone numbers to look them up. If they used that number to create their account, their profile will appear on the search results. It may not be as easy to do this on Twitter or Instagram where most users prefer a handle or nickname.
2. Google. Try googling your name, and your social media profiles, old and new, active or not, are likely to be shown. If you passed a board or licensure exam, you will see your name on various lists published by the PRC, some blogs, and other major publications. Try searching for your old numbers and anything that was posted online that has your number on it can also be found.
3. So you changed jobs, or even moved overseas. But debt collectors were able to track you and even calling you via IDD. They may have seen your new job title or location which you posted in your Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. You may choose to turn your Facebook’s privacy settings to maximum, but doing so with LinkedIn defeats the purpose (of having a LinkedIn profile).
4. Bank Records. If you recently applied for a salary loan, personal loan, car loan, or home loan, and was lucky enough to get approved, you must be aware that your credit record is accessible to all banks. As this is a new transaction, it surely has your new contact details. Your credit card issuer may have passed these information to the credit card debt collectors.
It is difficult to keep your privacy in this digital age. You’ll be surprised to discover that your personal information is everywhere. While most of these can be hidden (at least from debt collectors), your credit record and contact details that go with it are being shared by all banks. Therefore, I will keep recommending that you settle your debt with your bank like what I did. CLICK HERE to find out how I got cleared from HSBC. Trust me, it is liberating!