You just keep right on telling yourself that.
Damn right. Most people, no matter what precautions they take or where in the world they live, can be found for a few thousand dollars and most Americans can be found for much, much less. It's much more practical to muddy the information they already have about you by mixing plausible lies in with the truth. If they have nothing then sure, go ahead and lie completely but if they already know part of the story, make sure that you fill in the rest with false or misleading information.
I must confess that I'm not up on current retail prices, but surely there are resellers who have volume accounts and can run queries on your behalf while passing on at least some of their volume savings to you. Private Investigators probably fall into that category for example. Even so, as others have pointed out, that information is also likely available from other sources if you've ever made a purchase online using your credit card.
Maybe I just need to poison the data some more.
Couldn't hurt. Although I always use completely fake details when they don't already have at least some information on me already. A good source for fake ID information that will pass most sanity checks like zip code and address combinations or state and area codes is Fake Name Generator. As for the debt collectors, ask them to provide information concerning the debt, such as when it was first incurred, without giving out or confirming any information about yourself. If they refuse then tell them that the person they're looking for cannot be reached at your number or address, which is the truth in your case right? If they disclose the age of the debt and it's beyond the statute of limitations for collection you wouldn't be obligated to pay even if it was your debt and it can be a violation of law for them to continue calling depending upon where you live. Finally, you should note the number that they're calling from so that you can add it to your blocked call list on your phone account. The caller id number might be spoofed, but it couldn't hurt. While your at it you should also set your phone account to 'unblock or I won't take your call'. That way, you don't get 'private call' in the caller ID if they actually want to ring through.
No, what they really seem to want is to collect your name, email, home address, DOB and last four digits of your SSN.
Do you honestly believe that they don't already have a database with that information on every American that has ever applied for credit, filed a tax return, paid property taxes or had anything delivered to their home ever? If you think that that information is private, you've got another thing coming. It's all for sale from the likes of Lexis Nexis, Choicepoint or any number of others in the data business.
For extra confusion, try and find people in the same general geographic region with the same or similar name to yours and use bits and pieces of that information when filling out non-essential forms and such. The goal is to trick their databases into confusing you with somebody else when all they have is the name and not the SSN so that your profile becomes a confused jumble of inaccurate, false, misleading and cross pollinated information from many other real and fake people with the same or similar names. Obviously, this works better if your surname and first name are relatively more common.
why the hell would I give it to the exact people I don't want to have it?
They already have the minimum biographical info that they're asking for, that's public information unless you're in the witness protection program. What they don't have is the other related data which they're asking you to update for them. Now of course you wouldn't want to correct their inaccurate records of your other data, but it's nice to see that all of the disinformation and database poisoning is having its intended effects.
And in order to see the data they have about me, I have to give them my name, home address, last four digits of my SSN? Seriously?
If you think that the data brokers like Lexis Nexis, Choicepoint and these guys don't already have all of that information and more, you're sadly misinformed. Would it shock to know that all of that information is readily available to just about any business owner or attorney for $50 or less and nothing more than a promise (by them to the data broker) that you said that you wanted to do business with them or are a client of theirs?
Government does not have the money or expertise to do it themselves.
Does not have the money? Are you daft? The US Government controls the supply of the world's reserve currency. You know, the stuff that everyone on the planet wants. If they want to create more money to pay for something they can simply promise the Fed that they will pay them back and the Fed will credit their bank account with however much they want to spend. For now at least, there's hardly a bank on Earth that wouldn't accept electronic wire from the Fed or through a US bank that will for payment or transfer.
It's only an international crisis because the anointed one left his ass hanging out.
You'll get no argument from me in favor of President Obama. The man is arrogant, insincere and naive with a marvelous ability to speak glibly while in fact saying little or nothing. This is what happens when you put a smart young Harvard lawyer in charge of actually making important decisions on important matters in a timely fashion. Right or wrong the President must decide and that is the one thing that this President refuses to do: D-E-C-I-D-E. He waits for input from everyone, dragging out the decision out for months or even years, and by the time he does make a half baked response it's too late and the consequences of inaction are already upon us. President Bush the younger, love him or hate him, was at least able to decide and that's no small part of what it means to be President. We the People elect the President to make tough decisions, not to endlessly evade them with flowery language and inaction bordering on impotence.
I'm curious to hear what you think Ellison should do about the Syria situation.
How about avoiding conspicuously costly and indulgent hobbies in public while the world burns?
If the MLP innitiatives are successful in moving China ahead of the US in the targeted areas of research, it will be the end of the hands-off approach of the US government.
The Chinese are known for stealing the ideas and intellectual efforts of others, not so much for creating their own. They are followers, not leaders in tech. So far they've managed to close the gap by shamelessly stealing every technology that they can get their hands on, but what have they done themselves that's innovative and wasn't done first in the US or Europe? Nothing that I can remember and that's why they're still second fiddle to the US in research and development.
Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.