When checking my Experian credit report in March of this year, I noticed a negative item on the report that I did not recognize. It was an account with MCI, a phone company I have never had an account with. I contacted Experian and let them know this item was fraudulent and it was removed.
In May of this year, I received a collections notice from Afni, Inc. regarding this fake MCI account in the amount of $212.93. I contacted Afni and let them know that I had no knowledge of this account and upon learning it was allegedly opened in late 2004, told them that I had never received a single bill from MCI regarding this phone line in the nearly 4 years since it was supposedly opened. Afni told me 'good luck' trying to prove it wasn't me who opened the account. They claim that because the account was opened with my SSN, name and date of birth, it is my responsibility. They also claim to have proof that I 'okayed' this phone line via a phone call with MCI. This is a lie and I believe they were trying to use scare tactics with me.
Afni sent me the fraud dispute form but I am hesitant to fill it out because they told me if I prove that I lived at my address back when this account was opened I will be proving I am responsible for the phone line, even though this line was installed at a residence other than my own. I have lived at my home for nearly 11 years and do not recognize the address where this fraudulent phone line was opened.
Even more suspicious, I had an instance of ID fraud in November of 2004 with AT&T where a fraudulent account was opened using my information. The amount due on this account was very similar to the 'new' MCI account - the AT&T bill was for $272.73. Also, this AT&T line was opened in the same location as the MCI line. I was able to prove I was not responsible for the AT&T line and everything was resolved in 2005. I have documentation from AT&T's fraud department to prove this. I believe that Afni is completely fabricating the MCI account, using information from the AT&T issue that they must have somewhere in their 'database'.
I tried speaking with the fraud department at MCI but they could not give me any information and said that since Afni had purchased the account from them I had to deal directly with Afni. On June 16th of this year I sent Afni a letter asking them for validation of the account. I explained to them that I know my rights in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They need to prove to me that I was the one who opened the account. I cannot see that there is any way for them to do so.
I am concerned that Afni is going to try to place a negative item on my credit reports. I have always had excellent credit and do not need crooks mucking it up! I have done a fair amount of internet research regarding Afni and have found nothing but negative reports from consumers.
I placed a credit alert on my file with all 3 credit agencies. I filed a complaint with the FTC, the BBB of Central Illinois and with the Attorney General in my state. Now I wait and see..
New York, New York