Imagine my surprise when I received an Order Acknowledgment letter from a company I had never heard of. In March07 I received a letter from a mail order company named Seventh Avenue confirming an order for 4 household items totaling $1,564.90!
I called their customer service number and was informed that a Karen Campbell from the Bronx, NY had placed the order and used Seventh Avenue's payment option called,Choose N Charge. I asked, What's that and how does it work? The cheery person told me that anyone can place an order as long as they can give a Social Security number and a name that matches!
That means that if I have someon's Social Security number and a matching name, Seventh Avenue will allow me to go shopping either through their call-in number or online and CHARGE SOMEONE ELSE! This someone els is now Me, or it could be YOU!
Such a deal!
The cheery person told me that since I was disputing the bill, all I had to do was fill out their ID Theft Affidavit. But here's the kicker.
On the affidavit I m supposed to give them the following: my name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, driver's license number, how long I have lived at my current address, and phone number!
This is all the information any criminal needs to commit ID theft. I guess we're supposed to trust them with our vital information. According to my lawyer, I DO NOT have to give them my personal information and to tell them that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they should STOP harassing me. They are now calling me in the evening and early in the morning.
Now have a LONG shopping list of things to do to fix this. Why? Two reasons: 1. Seventh Avenue has their Choose n Charge (Someone else) payment policy, and 2. Some criminal got a hold of my Social Security number and name. It's THAT EASY! Now, Seventh Avenue is harassing me for payment. Only in America, friends.
Also, my lawyer told me that he's never heard of such a payment practice. A friend that works at a collections agency told me that they had never heard of Choose N Charge. Seventh Avenue is acting like this is a perfectly normal and legitimate business practice.
I also what to add that Seventh Avenue operates under several other names, including: Fingerhut, Swiss Colony, Associates Finance (formerly Kentucky Finance), Midnight Velvet, Through the Country Door, The Tender Filet, Honey Creek Marketplace, Monroe & Main, Grandpointe, Palm Beach Jewelry, Ashro, and Coppel Internet.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Swiss Colony is not a member of the BBB and to quote their online information, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to failure to respond to one or more complaints and two or more otherwise unresolved complaints. However, the business has resolved most complaints presented to the bureau.
We hear about identity theft all the time and I now know that it can simply arrive in your mailbox as a demand for payment. The crime of fraud has been committed by some CREEP and Seventh Avenue wants me to pay the bill, thanks to their UNBELIEVABLE payment policy. No business should be allowed to use this kind of scam.
They have angered the wrong Scotsman, and I intend to make a really BIG stink!
Medford, New Jersey