Guido is coming to break your kneecaps and offer a credit card

Debt collectors are either getting really lazy, or someone is using my address or phone number in a very weak attempt at identity theft — weak, I claim, because although we've been getting random calls from debt collectors for a matching last name (but a first name not even close to anyone in this household), my credit report is still clean.

Anyway, I just got an interesting letter in the mail from a debt collector, another matching last name but a random first name on a debt that of course I never incurred. (Seriously, how hard would it be to look up in a phone book and see if a name and address matched?)

Dear <random first name> <my last name>:

company name has been engaged to pursue collections on your above referenced account.

company name is pleased to provide you with an opportunity to satisfy this debt and allow you to qualify to receive a new Emblem® MasterCard® credit card.

The letter goes on to explain how this phantom member of my family can conveniently have his debt charged to this brand new credit card. The borrower must make payments that equate to 36% of the original debt amount within the first year before the credit card becomes active, at least, and there's no interest on that original debt amount; but apparently, defaulting on a debt is now a criterion for obtaining the means to incurring more debt. Genius.

Is it any wonder this country is in a crisis of sorts with people incurring vast amounts of debt, when companies are all-too-willing to offer newer, shinier shovels with which people can dig their own pits deeper?

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