Scam Debt Collectors / Instructions
Below is a good format to use when dealing with Afni or other scam debt collectors. Another 'Verizon' scam. I have never had Verizon as a phone carrier and I have never even owned a cell phone! I haven't lived in the state they claim its from for over a decade. It seems they figure Verizon's customer service is bad and went back 10-12 year old phone books and mass-mailed out these 'chain letters' with random amounts to many people figuring at one point we all had / have a cell phone and are or have been Verizon customers. If you use the below letter, make sure you send it certified mail and send copies of your reply and their letter(s) to the Illinois and your home state Atty General's office as well as file a complaint with the US postal service. DO NOT give them any information such as ssn, phone #, drivers license, etc.
Bloomington, IL [protected]
Re: Dispute of Collection Action: Case # <insert acct #>
On <date> I received a written notice of the claimed debt, a copy of which is attached.
This is to inform you that I dispute the debt because <explain here>. I am hereby requesting that you confirm the fact that I owe this debt as required by any applicable state and federal laws. Please contact the creditor to obtain verification.
In addition, under the provisions of state and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and related consumer statutes, I am hereby instructing you that you are to cease collection of the debt while efforts are made to obtain verification. Until you resolve this error with the creditor, you should neither contact me nor anyone else except the creditor about this collection.
Furthermore, any reporting of this matter to a credit reporting agency is premature. Until you have investigated my dispute, you should not relay negative information to a credit reporting agency. If negative information has already been reported, you will need to notify the agency to remove said report until the investigative process is over so that my credit report remains accurate, or at the very least, my credit report should be updated to reflect my dispute.
Your next contact with me should be either notice that the creditor has failed to provide verification of the debt and that the matter has been closed or that you believe that this debt is valid and are providing proof of my responsibility. If the former, please confirm that I am not being held responsible for the debt in writing and also that if the account has already been noted on my credit report, that you will contact the bureau(s) in question to have the account removed. If the latter, I expect that you will provide me with an explanation as to why you have decided not to remove this account from collections and a copy of all documents relevant to the debt such as the application, bills, records of communications and payments, and any other data that indicates my responsibility.
I am instructing you not to contact any third parties such as my employer, neighbors, friends or family members. In addition, you may not contact me by phone at work or at my home about this collection activity. All future correspondence should be sent to me in writing.
I am also forwarding a copy of this letter and all correspondence to the Illinois and <your home state> Attorney General's offices and The U.S. Postal Inspector.
I look forward to your acknowledgment that you have received this notice by <date allowing 2 weeks for response>.