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Financial Planning / Tax Strategies


Subject:  Re: A 2006 Invoice Date:  7/9/2013  9:36 PM
Author:  aj485 Number:  118833 of 123024

Part of the phishing scam--as it is with any other scam--is that the phisher pretends to be someone he's not--in this case "a company that the OP had done business with before." Since the OP's received original correspondence was to a physical address skimmable from the Internet, and not to a mailing address or an email address--either or both of which the legitimate furniture store would have had, also--phishing can't be so easily discounted.

I don't think that the OP said that the original correspondence was received at a physical addresss, not a mailing address (and for many people, they are one and the same). Additionally, given the number of websites that ask for (and get) e-mail addresses, I don't think that e-mail addresses are any 'safer' than a physical address. However, given that it costs $0.40 or so (depending on class and bulk status) to send snail mails, vs. $0.01 or less to send e-mails, I would be much more leery of something received at an e-mail address than at a physical address or mailing address.

A phone call to the store, or as OP plans to do, a letter to the store and not to the originator of the dun asking for the actual bill, would be a worthwhile check.

Actually, the OP should be replying to the originator of the dun. In this case, I believe it is the furniture store, but even if it's not the furniture store, not replying to the originator of the dun is ignoring a dunning notice, which could be injurious to one's credit file and/or pocketbook, especially if the dunner is able to get a judgment.

If you aren't providing any information back to the originator of the dun that they didn't already provide to you, then how are you providing any additional information for a phishing attempt? As you point out, your address (and likely, name) are already likely skimmable from the Internet, and any account number in the dun would have been provided by the dunner.

Here is the sample debt validation letter from the site I suggested that the OP use, with my comments in bold:

June 13, 2001

Your Name
123 Your Street Address
Your City, ST 01234
Should be the same name and address that the dunning notice was already received at, which the dunner already has.

ABC Collections
123 NotOnYourLife Ave
Chicago, IL


Because the OP has no knowledge of this debt, unless the dunner provided an account number, the OP would have to subsitute something generic like "Collections Notice Received"

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is being sent to you in response to a notice sent to me on September 30, 2002). Be advised that this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

This is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully request that your offices provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

Please provide me with the following:

What the money you say I owe is for;
Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe;
Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;
Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;
Identify the original creditor;
Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account
Show me that you are licensed to collect