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Why would somebody hire a Private Investigator to find me?

(54 Posts)
Maeb Sat 16-Jun-12 13:03:54

This is a strange one I think a private investigator is tracking me and I have no idea why.

I'm sorry to put this in two threads (it's also in Legal) but I didn't know where to place it and I'm so worried as to why someone would be trying to find me. I'm not into anything shady and never have been, and apart from a weird stalker boyfriend when I was 14 am pretty much trouble free.

This is what has happened so far:

On Thusday my parents received a call from a man claiming to be a courier and that he needed to know when I was in to sign for a package. I moved away 20 years ago so my mum said I wasn't around but she could sign for it, but the man insisted it had to be me. My mum took his mobile number and gave it to me later on.

I phoned the number which went into voicemail with a man with Manchester accent saying 'A1 Couriers' so I left my name and number. I rang again later, and a man answered, I told him I was returning a call regarding the courier and he sounded confused, and didn't know what I was on about. It felt like he was stalling me (after all a wrong number is a wrong number) and after a minute or so he suddenly remembered his BIL has a courier company. He repeated my home phone number back to me as I was hanging up.

Nobody called back and something felt fishy as I'm not expecting any deliveries, and don't use my parents address so I googled the number and an advert for a private investigation company was the only result.

Yesterday I received 3 missed calls from a mobile number (which I have saved). When I called the number back, nobody spoke but it sounded like there was a porn film playing in the background.

This morning my landline rang and when I picked up I said hello 3 times before a man (who sounded like the courier voicemail message and the 'brother-in-law') said he must have the wrong number. When I 1471'd the number had been withheld.

My partner rang the courier company number and when the man answered 'A1 Couriers' DP asked him if this was MobileTraceUK...the man answered yes so DP hung up.

I am really paranoid and somewhat scared. I don't like the fact that somebody is calling my elderly parents. Why would somebody choose this route to find me? I've had the same mobile number and email address for 13 years so it can't be anyone I know well.

If anyone has any advice on how to handle it, can I ask them to back off or reveal why, any legal avenues I would so appreciate it.

DanyTargaryen Sat 16-Jun-12 13:08:39

I really don't know but that sounds awfully scary, bumping for you in the hope someone more knowlegeable comes along.

Maeb Sat 16-Jun-12 13:18:58

Thanks DanyTargaryen

4goingon14 Sat 16-Jun-12 13:22:56

You don't have any unpaid debt do you?

If you don't have you checked your credit record with the relevant companies (experian etc)? Maybe someone owes debt in your name? Opened a credit card in your name.

Just guessing but it could be a possibility

Rabid Sat 16-Jun-12 13:29:52

How odd. What will you do next ?
Just thinking. Are your parents affluent ? Could it be them working out who lives there/ was in prior to a burglary. Or identity theft ?

Rabid Sat 16-Jun-12 13:30:50

Could it be to do with h ?

nickiminja Sat 16-Jun-12 13:32:26

Could you just ring them and ask them? Or get DP to?

Maeb Sat 16-Jun-12 13:37:21

I don't have any debt. My parents aren't loaded, and since the company has got my number (from me, duh) they have been calling me not my folks.

It wouldn't be anything to do with h/dp as he would be easy enough to trace without going to my parents!

Maeb Sat 16-Jun-12 13:41:00

nickiminja - I'm concerned that whatever they want can't be good. Councils and government agencies don't use private investigators (police just told me that). As they are being paid by someone, and are behaving in an devious manner (pretend couriers, calling my parents) they obviously don't want me to know what they are up to.

Rabid Sat 16-Jun-12 13:44:37

Did you think of running it past the police ?

AKissIsNotAContract Sat 16-Jun-12 13:45:29

How strange. They must be a pretty useless private investigator if the number they use to call people they are carrying out surveilance on shows up on google as a private investigator. What else did the police say? Did you give them the number?

noddyholder Sat 16-Jun-12 13:45:59

Yes maybe check it out with police for advice if nothing else although a friend had something similar and it was a sister she knew nothing about!

edam Sat 16-Jun-12 13:47:13

Very odd. I just googled and found this www.ukpin.com/licensing.html which suggests private detectives don't have to be licensed in the UK. However, it does refer to an industry body that is being disbanded, perhaps you could try asking them before they disappear?

noddyholder Sat 16-Jun-12 13:48:29

Sometimes debt collection agencies go to great lengths to contact people with old debts This is especially rife during recessions.Do you have any old cards/accounts from years ago or anythign?

AKissIsNotAContract Sat 16-Jun-12 13:53:34

Edam's link is very useful as it lists all the reasons people might hire a private investigator. Could any of these apply to you?

4goingon14 Sat 16-Jun-12 13:53:43

noddyholder is correct.

Doesn't matter if it is your debt...identity theft is rife! Could be someone else's debt in your name.

Checking my credit reports would be the first thing I would do.

noddyholder Sat 16-Jun-12 13:54:58

The wanting a signature makes me think bailiffs. They go through old debt lists even those past the 6 years rule and marry them with current names and addresses in the hope of making easy £ out of fear basically.

Maeb Sat 16-Jun-12 13:56:43

AKissIsNotAContract - the police (well police operator) said they couldn't take the phone numbers as no offence had been committed. When I rang the number the man who answered and the VM message say 'A1 Courier' it was only when DP asked him 'is this MobileTraceUK?' that the man said yes. So they obviously use that number as a front. The website has several contact numbers.

noddyholder I am 100% certain I have no debt. I have the same credit card and bank account since I was 20. I don't have store cards or loans. I will check myself at Experian - although I'm dreading finding something bad now.

noddyholder Sat 16-Jun-12 13:57:21

It could be identity theft though not as far fetched as you may think.

noddyholder Sat 16-Jun-12 13:58:20

It is not necessarily sinister it is simply a letter or package which the sender is determined you personally receive and acknowledge.

Rabid Sat 16-Jun-12 14:00:43

Or a mistress of an h.
It happens.

Maeb Sat 16-Jun-12 14:00:52

noddyholder - then why the subterfuge? Why not tell my parents that they have something for me but have not current address? Why lie?

munchymonster Sat 16-Jun-12 14:03:00

It could be mistaken identity (they are looking for someone with your name in your area), or identity theft.

noddyholder Sat 16-Jun-12 14:03:58

Because they have to guarantee whoever is paying them that the package will reach that person only. I don't think its anything dodgy at all. When I went travelling I rented my flat to someone who ran up a debt and they went to great lengths to find her but never left the letter with me as it need signed for. I think a mistress etc not likely.

AgentProvocateur Sat 16-Jun-12 14:06:12

Maybe you're due a large inheritance from a deceased rich relative.

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