Emailfinder.com Sells Wrong Info, Now Woman Has To Show Up In Small Claims Court

Some guy in London fell for an online iPhone scam in January, so he paid $150 to emailfinder.com to track down the identity behind the Hotmail account of the person who scammed him. Now he’s suing Kim, who is completely unrelated to this story (or was, at least), for $4,368 to cover the $1200 he lost on the iPhone scam plus travel expenses for him to show up in small claims court here in the U.S.

Kim was so surprised by the summons that she contacted the man directly to find out what the heck was going on. Here’s her story. (We changed her name.)

Yesterday after a long day at work, I came home to find two certified mail notices from my town’s small claims court. I also received two regular letters from the small claims court. These were labeled as “Small and Commercial Claims Summons and Complaint.”

These are addressed to my maiden name:

Higgins, Kimberly
AKA Simpson, Kimberly (which I have never been nor heard of)
My current full address

And also:

Higgins, Jennifer
AKA Simpson, Jennifer (who I have never heard of)
My current full address

Confused, I read on to find that someone from London is claiming that I sold him 6 iPhones in January and never sent him the goods so he is now suing me for $4368.49. Which is the cost of the iPhones plus his travel expenses to come to small claims court.

Seeing as how this document gave me his name and address, a little Googling brought up his personal site and I called his listed mobile number. Here is where it gets even weirder.

Apparently in January he found some scammy website and purchased 6 iPhones from it. Instead of paying via credit card or Paypal he wired over $1200 into someone’s Bank of America account. The supplied email address for this scammer was a Hotmail account and her name was Jennifer Simpson. Having realized he was scammed, this gentleman called up Bank of America and explained what happened. He had the account number etc that he wired the funds to. However, BoA would not talk to him about it because Jennifer Simpson was not the name on the account. They told him that BoA could not help him get his money back. He then called his local authorities in London who told him they could do nothing because he purchased these “abroad.” Calls to police officers in the States amounted to the same thing.

So this man decided to use one of those email finders/people finders services online. He employed a service at http://www.emailfinder.com. These folks charged him $150 and sent him back a report saying that the scammer’s email address (Hotmail) belongs to Jennifer Simpson or Jennifer Higgins.

The emailfinder people say further investigation showed that she was either related to or WAS me, Kimberly Higgins. However they supplied the wrong middle name/initial. But the company then proceeded to just do a search for Kimberly Higgins without the middle name initial and told this gentleman that the email address belonged to me, which it does not. They then sold him the following on ME:

  • Background check
  • Bankruptcy check
  • Full Credit report and history
  • Residence check
  • Previously known addresses.
  • A list of “possible relatives” for me. (This list was horrendously incorrect, I had never even heard of half the people on it)
  • And finally a long list of people who owned my current house (that I now own) before me.

As a result of this, I now have to go to court in October to prove this was not me.

Whoever this Jennifer Simpson person is, she is still scamming people at

http://resources.alibaba.com/topic/536480/MOBILE_PHONES_SCAMMER.htm

and

http://forum.iphonegeek.mobi/general-discussion/11803-sale-apple-iphone-3g-16gb-280-blackberry-bold-9000-270-a.html

You can see her email address is either slotcomm1@yahoo.com or slotcomm1@hotmail.com.

I’ve never in my life owned a Hotmail account yet somehow this emailfinders company is associating her scams with my identity.

How do I fix this? I’m sorry the gentleman lost his money but I am NOT a scammer. I just got my first iPhone myself in December and it was a gift from my husband.

There has to be something I can do to clear my name from this. Any ideas? I tried calling the small claims court but they said even if the claim was false I have to show up there and somehow prove that I did not take this man’s money. Can’t this be proved by the fact that I’ve never had a BoA account? I’m really concerned that a stranger has all my personal info at his fingertips.

Thanks,
Kim

Consumerist readers, any suggestions? Should she contact Bank of America to get a letter or something proving she doesn’t have an account with them? If she does this before October, can she settle the claim with the plaintiff and save him the trip? Can she take emailfinder to small claims court to pay for the time she’ll lose dealing with this?
(Photo: Chris Owens)