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11 October, 2009

Debt Collectors - Pay what you don't owe or else!

Have you ever wondered where the saying "crime doesn't pay" comes from when crime quite obviously does pay very well.

Three years ago we were victims of identity theft and had £10k worth of fraud done on one of our credit cards. To this day we are sure that a call centre sold details because the fraudsters knew everything, and other people with the same credit card company had similar experiences. Still as the police were not interested and after a lot of hassle we got the money refunded we thought the matter was dead and gone.

Until this week. Imagine my shock when opening a letter from a phone company I have never had any contract with to be told that they had sold my debt to a debt collector and a letter from the debt collector saying pay us in 10 days or we will send the boys round. I could not grab the phone fast enough.

The debt collecting agency were, as most probably are, totally obnoxious taking the line that you owe us money and you will pay us unless you can prove otherwise.
I told them that I had never had a phone with these people and had never even visited the part of the UK where I was supposed to have lived. Then I realised that there was no point talking with them. They had put some kind of black mark against our credit rating, were demanding money that I did not owe and were threatening me but I had no redress at all. What kind of country do we now live in.

Luckily we still had the paperwork from the credit card fraud and looking through it I found an entry with a phone company, so not only had they bought a phone they had obviously set up the payments against our card and so as soon as the card had been stopped the debt began to grow.

I phoned the gangsters, oops debt collectors, again and tried to give them details of the credit card investigation but they were not interested, telling me that they didn't believe me and anyone could tell them a story like that. Well yes they could, but taking the logic he was giving me they can, and probably do, pick anyone at random and demand money, because how do you prove you don't owe something.
It is funny that they apparently have "access to information to trace us" to our home address but not to establish that we never lived where the phone was sent.

So crime does pay and the innocent get threatened and hounded.

But if Mr debt collector calls at the door I hope he has good medical insurance. I don't know why but I think he might need it.

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