I received a letter from Afni, Inc. regarding a bill for Verizon (Contel of the South) for $39.34 for a phone number I had over 8 years ago. I was concerned because it was from a collection agency. I was not aware that I owed any money and I carefully review my credit reports and have never seen anything about this nor have I ever received anything from Verizon (Contel of the South) regarding late notices. When I called, they did not have my SS# but rattled off the last two addresses I had in Virginia (moved to NM 7 years prior). They said the last notice was sent over five years ago to my old address. I just assumed it was legit and gave them my bank account info on the phone. After thinking about it over night I realized, there is no proof this was my bill or that I owed anything except their word. I have no records showing any late or outstanding balances on any accounts. I checked online the next morning and found a load of scam reports about Afni, Inc. Since the charges had not been posted to my account yet, I went to my bank, changed my account number and stopped payment from going through. I have since sent Afni a letter stating I would not deal with a collection agency, that even if the alleged charges were legit, the statue of limitations had ran and that any attempt to file suit would NOT be ignored and I would respond with an affirmative defense under the statute of limitations and any other applicable Federal and State laws for unfair debt collection practices.
Anyone got any other advice on how to handle this? If I ever receive a collection notice again, I’ll do my homework and verify the legitimacy of a company and the debt owed BEFORE attempting to make a payment.
tijeras, New Mexico