Any victims of fraud?

I received a letter from a collection agency last week, informing me that an account ($460!) had been turned over to them.

Although I was familiar with the company (where I supposedly had the account), I have not ever had an account with them, and I have never signed an account for someone else.

I called the collection agency, and the response was something I would have expected from Sgt. Schultz “I know nussink. Dey send us files. Vee send out letters. Uzzer dan dat, I know nussink.”

Then then read to me the SSN–and guess what–it was mine.

OK, so then I asked if they had the number of the company (it’s a cell phone service). They said “No, but here is the cell phone number that was turned over for the collection.”

Of course, I didn’t recognize it–not only another area code, but another state.

Anyway, the upshot is that on Monday of last week I left a voice mail with the cell phone companie’s fraud area. After a week, I left another one this past Monday.

So far, no response.

I don’t have any doubt that the matter will be resolved, but I have been less with impressed with the “customer service” that they’ve shown.

I’ve never been “frauded” before, so I’m wondering “Is it always so frustrating getting the companies to get off their cans, and help get it resolved?”

My suggestion would be to conduct all communications with the company and the collection agency in writing. I would also make a complaint to the consumer protection division of your state attorney general’s office.

Mjollnir: Yes! This happened to me. And my advice is, stay on top of it! The dimbulbs at the agencies will not call you back. Also, they will ALWAYS behave as though they’ve never heard of you when you do call them back.

The reason for my adamance is that my fraud happened at a department store I did have an account with, but after I moved to another state. Consequently, it took a long time to track me down, and the account was sent to collection.

This was in 1990…and I am still working to get this off my credit reports. The total amount that some dishonest employee took me for was only ninety-something dollars, but it has seriously hampered my ability to get credit.

Also, be sure to get some hard copy letters from these people confirming that the charges were indeed fraudulent.

Good luck! I really hope you get it all sorted out!

My Student Loan lender turned over my account to a collection agency while I was still in school and had a deferrment. It took me the entire semester to get things cleared up, along with numerous faxes and letters from my the Registrar’s office to confirm my full-time enrollment status.

The final letter I wrote them should have burst into flames, it was so heated. I made a real point of telling them that their mistake better not show up on my credit record. Since I never got to the point of default, my credit record is still spotless.

Advice: Hound them, daily if necessary, until they would do anything to get you to shut up and go away.

I have a fraud story with a happy, and quick, ending, believe it or not.

About 3 years ago, I got a phone call from Ameritech (yest the actual phone company). They said that my calling card had shown a great deal of unusual activity over the last two days. I said "No it hasn’t. I haven’t used it in about 6 months. " They said “Okay. It would seem that someone has gotten hold of your calling card number, and is using it quite actively. Would you like to change it, right now?” I said yes indeedy. That’s what we did. They also told me that the charges would appear on my bill, but to call them as soon as I got my bill, to let them know which charges were not mine, and I would not be responsible for them. Thank Goddess for that…someone in Europe had gotten my number, and my phone bill was over $1400. I called, told them what was mine & what wasn’t, and they said “Okay! No problem!” End of story.

One other time, I wrote a check to a store, and the check bounced. That was my fault. I went to the store and paid it in cash, and they gave me a receipt. A couple of months later, I started getting these letters from the home office of the store, telling me that if I didn’t pay that check, they were going to take legal action. I called the store, and they started mumbling about “management changeovers” & stuff, and not to worry about it. Well, I finally got a letter from an attorney, thelling me that if I didn’t respond to him in x days, he was going to file charges. I called my uncle the attorney, and said hey, what do I do here. I’ve paid this, and I have the receipt. He told me to write a letter to the home office, and send a courtesy copy to the store itself, threatening action under something known as the Consumer Protection Act if they did not clear this up their own selves, and to include a copy of the receipt. My uncle said that what that would do is get someone to actually look at my account before their next coffee break, and it would probably get taken care of by the end of the day. So that’s what I did, and I never, ever heard from them again. :slight_smile:

Two stories, not so much fraud, but basic incompetence:

  1. About 6, years ago, the car I owned at the time needed a tune-up, badly. So I took it to a local chain to do the works–plugs, wires, oil, timing, etc. Two days later, my engine was chugging terribly at every stop, sometimes stalling, and accelerating in fits.

I took it back to the garage, told them the problem, and asked them to check it over again. I get a call later that day, and the person from the garage asked me if someone had recently worked on my car. I told him, “Yes, you did.” He said, “No, anyone else?” I told him no. He said, “Well, someone has, because your car has the wrong spark plugs in it. They aren’t correct for your car, and that’s the problem.” Shocked, I said, “Well, then you put them in there.”

“Nope,” he said, “we don’t even stock these plugs.” Growing redder by the second, I said, “Look, I had my car tuned up two days ago by you. The next day it would barely run. Nobody else has touched my car. So either I’m lying to you, or someone snuck under my hood while I was parked and switched my plugs as a joke.” He replied, “Well, you must be lying.”

I said, “Change them, and keep the plugs you take out. I want them in my possession.”

That night, I wrote the owner of the chain a lengthy letter, in which I described what had happened, and told him that, not only had the garage obviously put the wrong plugs in my car, I highly suspected they didn’t change the two belts I had asked for, and then had the audacity to call me a liar. I copied it to the garage’s manager, and to the Ohio Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau.

Turns out that the parts clerk who had taken delivery on those plugs had ignored the invoice and the box, and simply entered them into their inventory as something they were not. But I got my vindication: I got my money back plus vouchers for two free tune-ups or winterizations, the parts clerk got fired, and the mechanic who called me a liar got my letter put into his personnel file along with a written warning.
2) My wife and I were looking to buy a futon, so we went to a prominent local store, picked one out, paid for it in full, and arranged for delivery that Saturday. We were told that they used a local mattress warehouse as a vendor for their deliveries, and that they would call us that morning and arrange a delivery window.

As it happened, I had to attend a seminar that day. By this time, we did not own a car, but we did have a rental car that weekend. I was supposed to be at the seminar from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. My wife dropped me off at 8:00. I called her at lunch to find out when the delivery guys were coming. She said between 3:30 and 3:45. I told her I would get a ride home.

Here’s where it gets fun. It turned out we finished early. I called my wife at 2:45. She said she would come pick me up. She left the house at 3:20 and was there by 3:30. We pulled into our driveway before 3:40 (I speed, big time). There was a note on our doorknob stating that they had been there and left already. Here’s the kicker: They said they were there at 3:15!

I went in and called the futon place, knowing full well they could not have arrived prior to 3:20. The person there said that he could not help me. Flabbergasted, I said, “You better find someone who can, pronto.” He said, “There’s nobody here but me.” I replied, “Then you listen carefully, write it down, and call your boss. I paid in advance for merchandise, was told that it would be delivered between 3:30 and 3:45, and your guys left a note saying they were here at 3:20, which they were not. I got home a minute ago, and I highly suspect they simply knocked and left. They didn’t wait the full 15 minutes, the window is still open, and I want my futon.” He said he would call me back.

He calls back two minutes later, and says, “Sorry, they made another delivery after yours, and now they’re already back at the warehouse and leaving for the day.” I said, “Wait a minute–even giving them the benefit of the doubt and saying they arrived at my house at 3:21, you’re telling me they left my house before we got home at 3:40, made another delivery, returned to a warehouse by Cleveland Hopkins Airport by 3:50, and have finished up all their paperwork? How stupid do you think I am? No way they did all this in 30 minutes. You better call your boss back, and tell him those men have not completed their deliveries, and I want my merchandise.”

Five more minutes. He calls back. “Sorry, they’re gone. They left for the day. You can have it on Wednesday, or the next Friday after that.” I asked him when he closed, and he said 4:30. It was 4:10. I said, “Don’t you dare close you doors before I get there.”

I got to the store, and told him I was getting a cash refund, now. He said, “I can only credit your card.” I said, “Nope, this was a debit card, the transaction has already cleared, and I want my money.” Then, growing a huge set of balls, he said, “Can you hang on?” and went to wait on another couple who walked in behind us!

Anyway, we finally got our money back. On a whim, we stopped at another store on the same street that was still open. We looked at a few models, picked one out, and had it in our living room that afternoon. The next day, I stopped by the first store with a letter of complaint, copied to the BBB, and a copy of the receipt for the sale his competitor got because he screwed up.

Retailers, do not screw with me.

I had a similar experience, but with Pacific Bell a number of years ago. I had just moved to a new apartment in San Francisco and took a day off of work in order to have the phone hooked up, clean, etc. According to the appointment I made with Pac Bell, they would be arriving between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the Friday afternoon. Of course they never showed up.
On Monday, I called the company to complain - I had really been counting on a phone line because I had friends from out of town coming (they had no way of getting in touch with me - they had instructions to call 411 to get my new number). I had no idea where they were or where they ended up sleeping. Also, I could not afford to take another day off of work (I did have paid vacation days, but didn’t want to use them up waiting for the stupid phone company). They said that they would be happy to schedule another appointment with me - in three weeks.

I finally called a private company and had them install my phone. It was a lot more expensive, but totally worth it. My friends got in touch with me (after spending several days in a roach motel).

But I wasn’t through with Pac Bell. I did some research and found out that it is illegal for them to miss an appointment and that I was entitled to cash compensation. I called Pac Bell and told the receptionist that Pac Bell had missed an appointment and I wanted compensation. She said, “Uh, Pac Bell doesn’t do that.” And I said, “According to Statute VF489438 (or whatever) you do.” She immediately transferred me to a really nice guy who promised to totally compensate me. And he did!

To make a long story shorter, I got back a days’ pay, the money it cost for the private guy to install my phone and the hotel money my friends had spent. I think it usually pays to fight large corporations or smaller stores that think they can get away with horrible service.

I don’t know if this belongs in this thread or the Shitboy thread, but here goes:

My sister once lived with a young fellow named Matt. One day, Matt told her he’d lost his calling card. So she called the phone company to have it cancelled. The phone company replied that it could take up to a week or 10 days for that request to go through. They thought that was the end of the incident.

When the phone bill for that period comes in, there are over $1700 in charges from phone companies all over the USA and the world, from Massachusettes to Israel. The phone numbers listed on the bill were all for phone sex lines. And all of the calls were placed within a week or so of the calling card being reported lost.

Matt said someone must have found the card and made the calls until the card was cancelled. My sister believed him… until it was found that all the calls were made from within their home. Matt said someone must have tapped into their phone line. My sister believed him… until the police said they could find no taps. Matt said someone must be breaking into their house to use their phone. My sister believed him… until she noticed the calls were all made in the middle of the night when they were both home. Matt said the stranger was breaking in while they were in bed. My sister was gradually becoming more skeptical, but she still said, “Whenever Matt looks at that phone bill, he looks so sad and confused, and I just can’t get blame him. He couldn’t have done it.”

So they fought the phone companies, they hired a lawyer, they changed their phone number and screened their calls, and basically did everything they could to avoid paying those bills. A few months later, she finally reached the limit of Shitboyness she could take and kicked him out. 3 years or so later, she has no problem admitting that he pretended to lose the card so he could get away with making a week’s worth of porn phone calls and blame it on someone else. She also never paid a dime of that $1700, and most of the companies eventually gave up ever collecting.

But she still gets a few nasty letters from the Pilgrim phone company, or whatever it’s called, in Massachusettes.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

One day I got a phone call from a collection agency about a bill from a clinic that was a few years old. They said that they had sent me the bill and never paid it. I did go to the clinic but I never received a bill (I just had a $20 balance) so i htought I finished paying it off. He said, “You never received a bill? Do you live at xxxxx?” I told him I havent lived there for over 3 years. He was very nice.

So he apologized because it was their fault, I gave him my new address and I thought all was well. Until i got the bill. It accused me of ignoring them and they threatened legal action, blahblah. I sent the money and a VERY heated note. I told them it was THEIR mistake and how dare they threaten me, I wasn’t nice at all. I din’t hear from them again.

Sometimes life is so great you just gotta muss up your hair and quack like a duck!

About a month after I had Bowen, I signed up for this correspondence course. When the stuff came in the mail, I thought it seemed rather outdated, but nonetheless, I sent in one test. After that, I called them and cancelled and was told that since I had taken the first test, I’d be obligated to pay the second monthly tuition installment. Fine, I agreed, and sent the money, thinking that was that.

A few months later, I get a call from a collection agency, who is trying to tell me that I have to pay HALF of the tuition amount to satisfy my debt. Excuse me? Uh-uh. I wrote the following letter to the collection agency, and thus far, I haven’t heard anything more of them or the school and the debt has not been turned over. It’s a pretty all-purpose letter, modify it to suit your needs:

Asshole Collection Mgr
Blank Collection Agency
PO Box 00000
Jacksonville, FL 32255

RE: Dimwitted College

Dear Mr. Stone:

You are hereby notified under the provisions of Public Laws 95-109 and 99-361, also known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, that your services are no longer desired.

  1. You and your organization must CEASE & DESIST all attempts to collect the above debt. Failure to comply with this law will result in my immediately filing a complaint with the Federal trade Commission and this state’s Attorney General’s office. I
    will pursue all criminal and civil claims against you and your company.
  2. Let this letter also serve as your warning that I may utilize telephone recording devices in order to document any telephone conversations that we may have in the future.
  3. Furthermore, if any negative information has been placed on my credit bureau reports, or, if any negative information is placed on my credit bureau reports by your agency after the receipt of this notice, this will cause me to file suit against both you and
    your organization, both personally and corporately, to seek any and all legal remedies available to me by law.

Since it is my policy neither to recognize nor deal with collection agencies, I intend
to settle this account with the original creditor.

cc: My kick-ass, cutthroat lawyer
Knock 'em dead, Mjollnir!

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

I have been ripped off twice.
#1 I took my car in to get a oil change & tune up. They tried to get me to sign a blank work authorization (NEVER, NEVER DO THIS!). I told them not to do any repair work at all, other than tune up/oil. THEY DISMANTLED MY ENGINE!HE TRIED TO CHARGE ME $300 ON A $30 job! To make a long story short, I charged my bill to my credit card & then told the mechanic that I was going to contact my CC company & stop payment on this fraudlent charge. I added that if he wanted to sue me for his phoney bill, we’d go to court.He threatened to punch me out. I told him that if he did it he was going to jail. I havent heard from him since.E-mail me for the name of his outfit.
Rip #2-I met an amatuer cartoonist at Chattacon named Michael Higgs, of Norcross Georgia. I liked his work & sent him $30 for a piece of commissioned cartoon art, after negotiating via E-mail. 2 months go by, no art. I e-mail him. No reply. I check the 'Find people ’ on-line function & there is no Michael Higgs in Norcross GA. Anymore.If you hear of this guy or can find him , please drop me a line as I want to RIP OF HIS DISEASED LITTLE(Anatomical Reference Deleted)!!!
Rip #2-- I met an

We have met the enemy, and He is Us.–Walt Kelly