I got what appears to be a bill in the mail today from a company called Unimed. It appears to be German but since I don’t speak German I can’t be sure. It looks like they are saying I owe them $964.81 EUR. It was addressed to me using a name I used when married to my first husband back in 1996 (I’ve since remarried and redivorced). I know it isn’t for me because I haven’t been to Germany since 1998 and the date appears to be in Oct/Nov 2012?? Anyway, should I just trash this as it is obviously in error (wrong birth date also) or is this something I need to dig into deeper?
What country do you live in?
I know Unimed in New Zealand is a medical insurance company.
Is there a website named on the letterhead?
Oops…sorry! I live in the US.
There is an accompanying letter on letterhead but there is no website. There are phone numbers and an email address but unless I know it’s a legit company, I don’t want to email it. I just used Google Translate and it appears to be medical in nature. Even odder since I’ve never been to New Zealand!
There is a medical billing company near Boston called Unimed Billing Inc.
There is a legitimate German medical billing company (web site at http://www.unimed.de ). Of course they would not bill for services rendered in the last millennium - does the letter mention dates for the treatments billed?
Why wouldn’t they?
I mean, something that happened a minimum of 14 years ago, you’d think they’d have tried harder to track the OP down sooner! And of course in the US this would be far beyond any statute of limitations regarding bill collections, though that doesn’t stop some unscrupulous debt collectors from trying.
All that said: I suspect this is unenforceable, the OP certainly shouldn’t pay them a dime, but should try to find out more about what this is about to figure out whether they’ll try to make some kind of trouble.
Date in October / November 2012? Was that literally on the letter, or might that be a misunderstanding of how Europeans write dates? Here in the US if it’s July 10, we write 7/10/2012, but in Europe they’d write it 10/7/2012 (10 July 2012).
That is a good point. The dates are 10.04.2012 and 11.04.2012 which makes more sense. Doesn’t really make a difference because I still wasn’t there in April. I’m going to pull credit reports and make sure no one is trying to steal my identity but I’m not sure what to do next. I’m not sure how to communicate with them since I don’t speak German. I also don’t want to email because I don’t want them to have my current name, in case it is a scam. Maybe I’ll create an email address using my old name and send it from there…?
Huh - sure sounds like someone is doing a bit of fake-identity stuff :eek:. And somehow either Unimed tracked your whereabouts down via public records (divorce notices or whatever), or the faker tracked you down in advance and used your new address when seeking services.
Might your birthday be on any of the public records that deal with your divorce and/or name change? If so, can you look those up somehow to see if they have the incorrect date? That might help you figure out whether the scammer got “your birthdate” or just made something up.
Unimed seems to cater to hospitals/senior hospital doctors specifically (German hospitals usually treat patients under the statutory insurance scheme but a perk of senior doctors is that they can treat privately insured patients as a profitable sideline).
Were you treated in a hospital when you were in Germany, possibly when you still used your former name? The hospital staff might just have keyed in the wrong patient record number in April 2012 so your name/address that had slumbered in their database since the 1990s got called up as the billing address.
If you want to write to them, just do so in English; it won’t be a problem for them.
Their web site gives their main address as
unimed Abrechnungsservice für Kliniken und Chefärzte GmbH
Auf der Heide 17-19
so if the letterhead gives that address wou won’t write to scammers.