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Afni Inc. / Fraudulent billing!

1 United States Review updated:

I received an erroneous bill from this company also. It's a business that buys old usually noncollectable junk debt and attempts to associate anything or anyone with such debt. I received a bill like thousands of people across the country have stating I owed hundreds or thousands of dollars. In my case it was for someones defaulted Verizon bill for hundreds of collect calls from a Prison totaling 998$?! Report them to the Attorney general of your state. Then contact the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the FBI, your local police department and Better Business Bureau. Also contact the credit bureaus to resolve this matter. The Attorney Generals of other states have successfully sued such companies and won money for the victims of these types of scams. Afni and other companies like this are semi legit so far under the law and they can ruin your credit unfortunately and have ruined many good peoples names. And there is nothing lower or more despicable in this world than the destroying a good honest persons reputation.

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  • Ro
      6th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I received a collection letter this week from afni and when I called them (1-866-352-0479) the person I spoke to (Terrance) said that they do not need to provide me with documentation for the supposed debt which was suppose to have been generated from a cell phone company.

    After looking over the Internet websites and postings related to afni, I find more and more people who are getting these letters and it certainly seems like it is a scam.

    I'm emailing all of the corporate big wigs of the cell phone company to complain. I'm also sending a letter to afni to stop contacting me about this bogus debt and I will be filing complaints with the attorney general, the consumer division of my state, the IL attorney general, the FTC, and any other agency I find out about.

    These employees should get an education and find respectable jobs but then that is probably why they are where they are...they aren't smart enough to do anything else but try to intimidate people.

  • Mi
      17th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have received a collection notice from Afni, Inc. for a Verizon account for a phone number and address I have never had. It has gone on my credit report and I have to expunge it as soon as possible. I have called afni to resolve this a couple of times and they keep telling me to go to the website and do a dispute. The web site also has no way to do the dispute as I have tried that numerous times. What other recourse can I take.

  • Do
      20th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have also received a letter to this effect. After writing to them they just write back and say they need me to provide more information to them so they can substantiate my claim. If they already have this information from Verizon why do they need me to send it to them? This whole deal reeks of scam. Filing a complaint with the attorney generals office is a good idea which I will be pursuing this afternoon

  • Un
      26th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I also received a letter from this company stating that I owe Verizon $147 for a phone bill. I spoke with Shawn, who basically told me that they didn't have to provide documentation for this debt and that don't keep the records of the phone calls and Verizon doesn't either. He then put me on hold to speak with his manager to tell me I could settle for half, I told him hell no, I wasn't paying for something that's not mine. I will be filing with the Attorney General, Verizon, FTC and whoever else I can think of. This is BS!

  • Ke
      27th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I never even recieved a letter, I just found out about this on my credit report, which was perfect until now. The company was charter communications, which I have never heard of. I called them and they have no record of me, but afni does. They have an old address from dec. 2000, but I moved from that address a few months before this supposed account was opened. They don't care that they have a fraudulent account on me, they just kept saying that I need to pay the the $99, even if it's not my account. He told me that it would be to much hassle to prove fraud and proceeded to give me a huge list of things I would have to do! I ultimately paid the fake account off, they won because I just couldn't fight this horrible company!!!!

  • Sa
      4th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I never even received a letter, I just found out about this on my credit report, which was perfect until now. I called AFNI about it hoping to get it resolved the next thing I know is letter came from
    Afni, Inc. for a Verizon account for a phone number and address I have never had. I have called afni to resolve this a couple of times and they keep telling me to go to the website and do a dispute. The web site also has no way to do the dispute as I have tried that numerous times. It looks as if this is how they do their business. I am looking for people who will help me file law suit against them. If you are interested send me email.

  • Ma
      6th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    My husband and I are in the same boat. We received an AFNI bill for service we never had for an almost $900 Verizon bill. They have refused to submit any verification of the debt without us sending them all sorts of personal information. As of yet they have not placed anything on our credit report. I say this with some degree of reservation because I think they're idiots and may do so,. However, anyone who does have a wrongful account on their credit report should NOT EVER, EVER pay these people, no matter how small the bill. In general, you will likely have a better time dealing with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian than AFNI. If you dispute the AFNI charge and it is on your credit report, the bureaus will research it and try to get AFNI to cough up documentation. If AFNI can't, then they have to remove the item. If AFNI continues to pursue it, they may be liable for knowingly providing false info to a credit bureau. (I am not a lawyer, so you can read for yourself the exact verbiage of this on the FTC website's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    From what I have read in a few posts, AFNI cannot or will not send negative info to the credit bureaus because they know they can't legally collect on these very old debts. If they do, this is the best time to use the dispute process against them and if they wrongly and negatively affected your credit score, it is then more likely to be worth your time to sue them for violations of the FDCPA, of course check with your own legal counsel on that.

  • Ko
      8th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I received the same letter on March 5, 2007 telling me that I owe money to Afni, Inc for a Verizon account opened 10 years ago and closed 9 years ago. For an account and address I never had. What is weird is that Verizon confirms they sold the debt to Afni, Inc and this bogus and fraudulent account is now on my Verizon account. What shouldn't surprise anyone is that I've never heard of this from Verizon or any other creditor until now nor has it ever been on my credit report. What is even more insulting is that I've been a Verizon account holder for almost 10 years.

  • Af
      8th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    Yes i do work for afni! And as an employee i found that all of the accounts i have worked with are valid debts.. and we are not a bogus company we have been around for 70 years.. thank for you time to read this.

  • Ro
      9th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I too just received a call from AFNI claiming a Verizon debt. There had been a dispute with Verizon that Verizon corrected. Nevertheless, from everything I can find out in what are called "minimum pay" states (states in which you don't need to pay for extra services in order to maintain your basic phone service) the Verizon Computers automatically stop billing for any extra services not paid within 30-60 days depending on the account. The computer then, apparently, forwards the debt to AFNI, which from their contact, appear to be an unethical fly-by-night collection agency. AFNI called, they claimed the debt was sent to them several months ago. I told them the matter was settled with Verizon crediting my bill, and to check with Verizon. They said they don't do that, that they are not required to do that, and that I had to pay. I told them to write me a letter, I would then dispute under the various federal and local laws and they would go check with Verizon. In response, they claimed to have sent me a letter, which was never sent. The phone call was the first contact. Next, they gave me the same story about disputing at their bogus website, and then proceeded with a long list of requirements such as filing affidavits and proving fraud. All sheer nonsense from a legal standpoint. When I told them that I would be glad to pay if they could verify from Verizon that anything was owed, they merely threatened to report to the credit bureaus. I live in New York City. They are required to be licensed to Collect Debts in NYC. When I asked for their NYC license they claimed they did not need to be licensed to collect in NYC. It appears from my own search that they did license, but they refuse to give out their license number, which is violation of the NYC laws and rules. They also violated several other NYC, New York State and Federal Laws during the call.

    I practiced law for 18 years. If they report fraudulently to the credit bureaus I will sue both AFNI and more importantly, Verizon.

    AFNI is apparently in the extortion business. Under the guise of legitimacy they have gotten certain communication companies to give them account information. They then attempt to extort money despite the legitimacy or status of the debt through threats of ruining credit. Such operations should be prosecuted.

    I am preparing a letter of complaint to the FTC, the Illinois Attorney General, the New York State Attorney General, and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs which licenses these guys. Complaining to Verizon's executive offices will also, likely be very effective.

    Nothing effects politicians and businesses in competition such as Verizon like a mass complaint from constituents or customers. If you would like to join in the complaints I am filing, please contact me. If push comes to shove, I will also engage in a law suit, but I doubt it will get that far.

    Email me if you would like to participate.

    If you would like to complain to Verizon executive offices on your own, I suggest you write to:
    Ms.Virginia P. Ruesterholz
    President – Verizon Telecom
    Verizon Communications
    140 West Street
    New York, NY 10007

    If you write on your own, if you are a Verizon customer I suggest to tell them you will find another phone company if the matter is not resolved. If you are no longer a Verizon customer, I suggest you inform them that you left because of this situation (if that is true).

    If you live in New York State and wish to file a complaint with the NYS Attorney General on your own, here is the url to get complaint forms:
    http://www.oag.state.ny.us/complaints/complaints.html

    Since this company is based in Illinois, everyone should send a complaint to the Illinois Attorney General's Office. Their Consumer Protection is only for Illinois residents, but their Consumer Fraud Hotline should take a complaint against a company using Illinois as a base for extortion and fraud. The Consuer Hotline Number is Chicago
    1-800-386-5438. If you choose to write, the main address is
    Illinois Attorney General
    100 West Randolph Street
    Chicago, IL 60601
    (312) 814-3000
    If you call or write and are not an Illinois resident emphasize that company is using Illinois as a base for their fraudulent and possible criminal activities.

    If you live in NYC, dial 311 to get a complaint form for the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The license of AFNI for reference is 1072175.

    I strongly suggest, however, that we join together to complain. There is a tendency on the part of government agencies and businesses to dismiss individual complaints as simply a disgruntled debtor. It can take a long time for government agencies or even businesses to coordinate the actual number of complaints and put together a pattern unless it is spoon fed to them. I complaint from many people provides the necessary impetus and puts the pattern of activity right in front of them.

    Again, please email me.

  • Bi
      12th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I too have been contacted. I have done some research, and I have gotten lucky. After complaining to the attorney generals in two states, AFNI has been forced to give information. Research has shown that the claims AFNI is making could not possibly be true.

    I you get a letter from AFNI, immediately report it to the attorney general in the state you live in, and the Illinois Attorney General. Include the URL to this and other sites that have AFNI complaints, as this will give them an idea of the pattern being developed.

    Research the information that is being given. Could it possibly be true? Is there an address or phone number associated with the collection notice? If so, does the address exist? Look up the phone number on a reverse lookup search engine to see if it exists, and what city it is assigned to.

    You can research property information at the assessor's website for the county or city in which the phone number is assigned. (just google it) Enter the address into the parcel search engine on the website (you'll see what I mean when you get there). See if the address exists in the town that AFNI attributes to the bill.

    This is looking to be quite a big scam, but if you do the proper research, you won't be victimized.

  • An
      18th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I received a bill for cingular wireless in my husband's name, from two years ago first of all it was the wrong account number I called cingular to verify it, and second of all we are still with cingular wireless and our phones are still on and I called cingular they stated we are fine. I don't know what kind of company this is but they aren't getting a dime from me.

  • Mi
      27th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I live in Australia and I've been here for almost 7 years. I was in the military for 20 years and lived in several different states. AFNI sent a letter to my sisters address in my name saying they were trying to collect a 60.00 debt for AT&T but will accept 30.00. I don't remember using AT&T for about 10-12 years and I know I owe them no money. What do I do about this? This letter must be fraud. The letter is from AFNI Inc, PO Box 3427 Bloomington, IL 6172-3427. They say they are making ANOTHER attempt to contact me; this is the first time I've ever heard of this mob.

  • Di
      2nd of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    I just received one of those AFNI letters today for a debt of $ 31.51, for a disconnected phone number i don't even recognize. I plan on contacting them on monday to find out any information possible. Please let me know if there's anything else i should do other than said proposed letters to said agencies. I hope this is not too late.

    Thanks in advance,
    dino kattato

  • Ti
      8th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    I received a letter from Afni, trying to collect on a Charter Communications service we haven't had for 28 months. I have a statement from Charter saying my balance is "zero", but Afni is saying I have the burden of proving I don't owe this!

    I will deal with Charter directly... I hope they aren't working with Afni, especially after telling me I did not owe anything.

  • Sc
      9th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    ANFI sent me a bill for a cellular one phone i never had i am 25 and the bill is 8 years old so in other words i would of had a cellphone in my name at the age of 17 which is totally not possible since you have to be 19 to even sign a contract in nebraska. So i think this company is totally bogus also i am the financial area. And Creditors can't even collect bills over seven years old. Also the only cell i have ever had is ALLTELL so explain this to me i have this cellphone number since i was 19. and i called ANFI about it and they could not tell me anything about. their might have been someone with my name elsewhere i told them but they assured it was me and they wanted my SS number and all this other information on me i told them to go to hell. If it was a real bill they would of had that info already and could of told me. But they want me to verify it [censored] that they can verify it to me.

  • Ja
      12th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    § 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]

    (a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing --

    (1) the amount of the debt;

    (2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;

    (3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;

    (4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and

    (5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

    (b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.

    here people learn a little! If you feel that debt is wrong by law you are to dispute in writing! as per fair debt collection practices act!! as per Fdcpa here is the definition of harassment

    § 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]

    A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

    (1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.

    (2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.

    (3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act.

    (4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.

    (5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

    (6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity

    you people need to get a life and stop complaining we live in a world where id theft is growing at an alrming rate if you a victim it fu8king sucks but so is being a victim of anything. To clear you self you have to show this wasnt you I had to do so. It was hard and a pain in the butt. How are collection agencies to know or the original creditor to know unless you prove yourself. The is no verification process for getting almost ne kind of service. And even the verifcation there is out there really isnt that hard to over come. So quite crying! Do what is required by the laws set forth by A CONSUMER and get over it!

  • Na
      15th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    After applying for a credit card, I was denied because I still had an outstanding debt. After some checking and pulling my credit report, I also found that AFNI was after me for a debt that I did not incur. Frankly, I am amazed that this scam has gone on for so long! I live in Hawaii, and have for over three years, but they are trying to nail me for a Verizon Wireless debt which would have been incurred right in the middle of my currently active (and currently paid) cell phone plan. Think it sounds fishy? Pull your credit report. Most collection agencies will charge their own interest on the debt after they purchase it from some other company. The only time they don't collect interest is when they have a set plan with the debtor for payment.

    On my report, the debt is exactly the same as it was when they 'bought the debt', not only that, they have not reported it again for almost a year. There is also no corresponding amount owed to Verizon anywhere on the report. In short, the debt did not come from any company, is not gathering interest, and has not been reported for almost a year, yet it is on my credit report as a negative, and will be for many years. Thankfully, it is a small amount, only $171, but trying to build my credit back up with this on my record is rough.

  • Tv
      27th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    If it is a valid dispute, contact your State Public Utilities Commission and file a complaint with them. I've had good results with this, but looks like I will be suing AFNI shortly.

  • Jo
      5th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    The lot of you are ridiculous. I work for AFNI and have heard it all. If you feel upset having to send proof that you are innocent, like the other 99 percent of debtors that the evil creditor and collection agency have supposedly conspired against to extort a whopping 100 dollars, then perhaps you should look around and blame the dishonest masses for their outlandish fabrications and never ending need to avoid responsibility for their actions. The collector is surprisingly powerless to read the minds of others, and if every account was closed the minute someone uttered "not me," there would be no collection industry because of course, as we all know, the vast majority of those with credit card, phone, or any other account listed on their credit are in fact, victims of cruel, twisted fate in the form of some freak billing error. Oh yes and while on the subject, why forget that according to 60 minutes and the rest of the fear mongering drivel the media fills the minds of Americans with these days, identity theft actually happens more often then customers legitimately get phones. If you can't remember your phone number from 10 years ago, then what most certainly occurred was someone had got hold of you personal information, followed you to work, requested your phone number in order to list it as the can be reached number on the account, then had the phone installed in your house (since the service address of the phone was your home), and lastly with precise timing every month snuck into your mailbox (the billing address on the account) to pay that bill in order to keep that phone on. (That would be sarcasm for the slow minded)

    It may not be pretty, but if verizon or any other telecommunications company has a portfolio of old unpaid debts that the consumer has mistakenly not been billed for in the meantime, someone has to collect upon them. Everyone, per law, is given the opportunity (30 days) to resolve the debt before any collection activity including credit reporting is taken. Computers don't forget about money owed, apparently much like the infallible human beings that have posted in this topic thus far. There are laws in place to protect consumers, you may send in a letter of dispute along with any supporting documentation you may have, it will be reviewed and the agency will validate the bill: if it is still correct, you will be mailed that validation, if not you will be sent a release of responsibility letter.

    I'm not accusing anyone of trying to get out of something they know they owe, in fact it's quite the opposite. I have no doubt that everyone here honestly believes they don't owe the bill, unfortunately deeply believing something does not change the situation in this particular case. In short, try thinking before speaking, learn the laws (there is no statute of limitations on collecting a debt), and spare the semantics with regard to the lawsuits and attorney general; It's two multi-million dollar companies, with detailed account information vs. a debtor whose only "documentation" is attempting to remember a 3 minute conversation 5 years ago in which they think/hope they were told this bill was all a big mistake and they don't owe any money.

    Thank you for your time, and this certainly doesn't apply to everyone. Hats off to those with enough integrity to accept their responsibilities and satisfy their debts, without immediately firing off excuses and looking for loopholes or a quick buck in this sue-happy country of ours.

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