内容

我所经历的“讨债骗局”

Be wary of debt collection scams: My personal experience

当我上周收到讨债公司Credit Network Inc. (CNI)的来信时,不禁吓得出了一身汗。
When I received a letter from a collection agency Credit Network Inc. (CNI) last week, I was sweating profusely.

这封追讨信上明确无误地写着我的名字和地址,并要求我向医疗机构UHN-MSH 临床麻醉部(UHN-MSH Clinical Anaesthesia Associates)支付$1009.95元欠款。
The letter, with my correct name and address on it, requests me to make a payment of $1009.95 to a medical agency – UHN-MSH Clinical Anaesthesia Associates.

UHN-MSH是由多家医院组成的医院网络,其中包括多伦多全科医院和西奈山医院,但我在过去数年中从未去过这些医院就诊。
UHN-MSH is a hospital network that includes several hospitals – including Toronto General and Mount Sinai Hospital. I have never visited any of those hospitals over the past few years.  

这封追讨信威胁称,如果我在五日内不付款,就会将我告上小额钱债法庭。
The letter further threatens to take me to the Small Claims Court, if I don’t make the payment within 5 days.

追讨信称:“你应该立即付款,以免欠款带来不良后果。”此外,信中还列出了从支票到电邮转账等五种付款方式。
“To avoid the consequences of leaving your account unsettled, you should make immediate payment,” read the letter, which lists over 5 payment options – from cheque to E-mail transfer.  

在收到这封信后,我竭力回想自己是否曾和这家医疗机构打过交道,但什么也没有想起来。
I was trying hard to search any past incidents in my memory that could possibly have any connection to this medical agency, but it came up with nothing.

但说到麻醉,我几年前的确在北约克全科医院做过一个手术,但当时所有费用都是由安省医疗保险计划支付,根本就与医院没有债务纠纷。
Anaesthesia… I did have a surgery at North York General Hospitalseveral years ago, but all the costs were covered by OHIP. And I didn’t owe a penny to any medical department.

我通过谷歌搜索查询这家医疗机构,找到了有关这家机构的数项信息。信息中显示的这家机构的地址各不相同,但却都列出同一个电话号码。
This agency did come up with my Google search, with several entries. They all point to the different locations, but the phone numbers are the same.

刨根问底
What is it?

我拨通这个电话后,一个自称汉娜的女人解释称,他们是医院网络的麻醉科,患者之所以欠债,是因为他们没有安省提供的医疗保险。
I dialled the number and a person called Hanna on the line explained that they are the anaesthesia department of the hospital network, and that the patients have received the bill because their medical procedures were not covered by the OHIP.

在敲打了一阵键盘和仔细核实我的姓氏后,汉娜告诉我在她的欠款数据库中没找到我的名字。
After some keystrokes and an effort to verify my last name, she told me that my name did not exist in her file.

她称:“我这里找不到你的名字,可能是讨债公司搞错了。”
“I don’t have your name on file,” she said. “It could be a mistake that the collection agency got your name wrong. “

在我要求她将此事和讨债公司搞清楚后,汉娜承诺会回电话给我。
After I asked her to get things straight with the collection agency, she promised to call back.

讨债诈骗
Debt collection scams

如今讨债业已经呈现出令人担忧的新趋势,即那些根本没有欠债的人士遭到讨债公司骚扰。
There is an alarming new trend in debt collection scams — one that can affect you even if you have no debts.

讨债公司会使用各种粗暴手段对实际上并未欠债人是死缠烂打,以期通过威逼恐吓让一些弱势群屈服而向他们交纳所敲诈的款项。
Debt collectors are using abusive tactics preying on vulnerable people who don’t even owe a penny, clinging on the hope that someone will give in to their aggressive and bullying tactics and make demanded payments.

消费者保护机构和政府部门都曾发出警告称,讨债骗局在过去一年呈现激增态势。骗徒对你的个人信息非常了解,有时候甚至连你的社会保险号都一清二楚,为了骗钱他们会对你进行穷追猛打。他们会威胁将消费者告上法庭,有时候甚至威胁会将消费者逮捕。
Consumer and government agencies have issued warnings about debt-collection scams that have proliferated over the last year. The scammers know much of your personal information — sometimes even your Social Security number — and are relentless in their pursuit for your money. They threaten to sue consumers, with some even threatening to get consumers arrested.

“我们是合法机构!”
“We are legitimate!”

我也开始对这一事件进行调查。我通过医院网络系统联系到了多伦多总院麻醉部,对方给了我一个完全不同的地址,并告诉我该部门绝不会直接向患者开账单。
Meanwhile, I conducted my own research. I asked the hospital network to put me through the anesthesia department, and spoke with the administrator. She gave me a different address and told me that the department will never issue bills directly to a patient. 

当天下午我接到了汉纳的回电,声称当时上午曾把我的名字搞错。
Hanna called back in the afternoon, saying she got my first name wrong by having misspelled a letter in it.

也就是说我的名字的确在她的文件系统中。她同时称,欠债人和我同名但生日不一样,该名出生于1964年11月10日的女士曾于2011年10月24日至25日前往该医院就医。
So my name existed in her file. She presented a person with the exact same name as mine but with a different birth date – a woman who was born on Nov. 10, 1964, and was in her hospital on Oct. 24-25, 2011.

她问道:“这是你本人还是你认识的人?她是你母亲么?”
“Is this the person yourself or do you know this person?” she asked. “Is she your mother?”

我对她的漏洞百出忍俊不禁。她在当日上午进行文件搜索时明明用的是我的姓,而不是我的“名”字。
I could hardly hold off my laugh.  She clearly made flaws. It was my last name, instead of the first name that she was searching for from her file in the morning.

讨债骗局迹象太明显不过。我不禁询问对方“医院”是否是和讨债公司勾结在一起欺诈消费者。
Is it one of the many debt scams? Feeling fishy, I asked whether it is a scam where her “hospital” colludes with the collection agency to defraud consumers.

但她信誓旦旦地称:“请不要如此下结论……我们是一家完全合法的医院!”
“Absolutely not,” she says. “Don’t make allegations like that… We are a perfectly legitimate hospital!”

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