International Forecaster Weekly

A Curious Phone Call

It wasn’t even a couple days and Unknown was calling again. I answered it again, saying that I don’t have and never have had a line of credit via paypal. But he was persistent. He said that in 2018 I opened this line of credit, he had the correct email address, and said that I even made several payments, before stopping payments in late 2019.

Bob Rinear | February 6, 2021

About three months ago, my phone rang and when I looked at the screen, it said “caller unknown.”  Thinking that this must be one of the ten gazillion times that I’ve been hounded by calls telling me that my new vehicle warranty was running out and I only had moments to get more coverage…I ignored it.

A couple days later I was listening to my voice mail, and something caught me off guard. There was a male voice saying that he was from such and such company, a “debt collection” agency, and that I should call their office immediately.  So I ignored it. I wasn’t in default or behind in any type of payments.

I pay my credit cards almost down to zero every month. My cars are paid for. I’m current with comcast, Verizon, the water company, the electric company and the township for sewer fees. So, I knew it had to be a wrong number.

A week later the phone rings again. Unknown. So this time I answer it. The guy asks my name, I tell him. Then he says something along the line of “We’re so and so, a debt collection agency and this call is being recorded.”  Yeah, okay. So, what’s up?

He says, “we want to know if you’re willing to settle this claim from paypal on your personal line of credit loan.”  I reply, “look, you got the wrong guy, I’ve never had a line of credit with paypal” and I hung up.

It wasn’t even a couple days and Unknown was calling again. I answered it again, saying that I don’t have and never have had a line of credit via paypal. But he was persistent. He said that in 2018 I opened this line of credit, he had the correct email address, and said that I even made several payments, before stopping payments in late 2019.

I said again, I’m not sure how they did it, but I must have been hacked, I do NOT and HAVE NOT had a line of credit with paypal. He then said that all the information says I did. He gave the address used. Interesting, it was the address from our old bayfront house in NJ. But that was washed away with Sandy in 2012. I didn’t own that lot any more.

He had the social sec. correct, and old address, and said that I owed 3400 bucks to paypal. How was I going to pay it? I said I’m not. It’s not me. I didn’t do that. Of course he got belligerent with me and said “Come on Mr. Rinear, NO ONE that does fraud makes a few payments on the loan and then stops. They simply never pay.”

He had a point, I didn’t quite understand that one. But I continued to say, something very odd has happened, but it wasn’t me. So I told him that I was going to research this. I hung up. Soon after “Unknown” called back. It was a much nicer, much more mellow fellow, and he said “listen, I’ve had experience with this. A family member, or someone close takes out the loan with your information, and starts paying on it. They figure that if they pay it you will never know they did it. Maybe they had a gambling debt, or some bills to pay. But then, they couldn’t make the payments and stop. Could it be your wife or kids or close friends could have done this?”

I said no, I don’t believe so. I’ve been married for 36 years. We don’t have money problems. My kids might be goofy but they aren’t thieves. The only thing I could think of, was maybe someone got my info from paperwork in the RV Trailer we still owned up in NJ. We were only there a couple weeks a year, maybe someone broke in?

I then did something that disgusted me, but I figured I had to do it. I rounded up both kids, sat them down and said “Is there any chance that either of you got into some trouble you didn’t want to tell us about and needed money, so you opened a paypal credit line under my name?”  My heart was pounding, surely they wouldn’t do that, they weren’t raised that way.

Both of them howled at me “of course not! What are ya nuts??” I said listen, I am going to the detectives with this. The cops. The sheriff. If one of you got in trouble, lets fix it. Both said hell no, in fact they said “I can’t wait to see who really did this.”  Yeah, me too.

I went to the local sheriff office. I got in to see a detective. They took what ever info I had, and said they’d get back to me. About ten days later maybe two weeks, I got a call from the detective. The account was opened from CHINA. The case ran cold. She had gone as far as she could go. She presented me the investigation report, and the leads that took her to IP addresses in China. But after that, it was a dead end.

Imagine that folks. Some one, or some group, had my name, social, a past address that they knew couldn’t even get mail because it’s still a vacant lot, opened a line of credit, PAID a few months and then stopped. With a balance do of 3400.

I called the debt agency back and forwarded them the report. They still weren’t/aren’t convinced it wasn’t me. At some point, I’m guessing we’ll be in court over this.

What brought that up today? I got an Email from a reader that I correspond with often, and I figured it was time to share our stories. This is what I got:



I've been a LifeLock client since the first years (well before NORTON bought them). Anyways, one of the key tricks is to just put a freeze on all of your credit agencies.  It also reduces your junk mail.

But I needed a second business credit card, and had to unfreeze my credit briefly in 2020 to do this.  WITHIN Months, the credit agency involved, gets a phone call from someone pretending to be me, who has my details, and they pass the questions!   Get access, and I Get a LifeLock message.  Within days (because I was traveling), they are calling and opening accounts (or trying to) at various banks.

It takes me 4hrs to fix the Experian account they took over and I initiated a 7yr Fraud alert.  I also found out about doing the same thing for bank accounts!

Everything is locked back down, but DAMN! They squeezed in.   Without LifeLock telling me these acounts were "passing" my authentication, I would never have known.

            I think you would do your readers a service (and YOU TOO, because I could be targeted BECAUSE I am also a conservative voice!), by mentioning they should call all 3 agencies and request their credit be frozen if they don't need to be opening new credit accounts.

Finally, we own 2 houses outright, and that's now a danger because of people falsifying Quick Claim Deeds, and then getting loans against the property, and not paying them.   I opted for HomeTitleLock (in part because Glenn Beck interviewed them and gave them some credibility, also, because it's not so much money RIGHT NOW, that I need to worry about the cost, as I am BUSY making money).   But I will probably find a way to monitor it myself at some point to save the money.

It's CRAZY OUT THERE.   Double check EVERYTHING.   I trust nothing anymore.  (My Russian Friends are teasing me that we are going to experience what they learned to live with. Someone showing up with a title to their property, and the police kicking THEM out!  Turns out, whoever has the bigger guns, wins)

Be careful, and good luck to your son!


Well folks, there you have it. Maybe it is indeed time to sign up for such things as lifelock and Home title lock. No I don’t get paid for say this, I’m simply suggesting that if I can get hacked from China, and K here can get hacked in just moments of freeing up his credit, You can too.

Just a heads up to how crazy it is out there.