Ghost bills, fines and applications - best to ignore them?

Say you receive a fine in the mail, with your name and details, but clearly it’s an error. Perhaps you receive a notice of an application for a new credit card or bank account, but you haven’t applied for any of them.

What’s the best way to deal with this situation - ignore it wait for it to blow over, or is there other steps you should take?

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I wouldn’t ignore any of them.

If it is a fine for example, I would contact the relevant jurisdiction and find out whether the fine is illegimate/if they actually issued the fine. I would use whitepage/contact detauls on their website rather than relying on the contact details on the fine notice. It is possible if they did not issue it and it could be a scam. If they did issue it and say it was not in err, I woukd ask for the process to dispute the fine indicating that it has been issued as an error. I would then follow this process, including reviews etc, in relation to the fine.

If the fine is from parking on private property, I would contact the issuing party like above. If the fine is legimate (not a scam) I would also contact my local consumer affairs department to determine what are the ramifications if I don’t pay the fine and whether it is legal. I would also contest the fine if I was required to pay and it had been n issued to me in err.

For credit cards/bank account, i would contact the issuing institution using contact details in whitepages/on their website to determine if it is legimate and whether it has been issued in err. If it is in err, I would destroy the card and advise the issuing institution that this is the course of action I would take. If the institution is adamant that the card has been applied for in my name, I would also advise the new credit card/bank account has not been requested and suggest that they assume it has resulted from identity theft. I would also contact the police as fraud may have been committed (identity theft).

I would slso try and find some expert advice on how to manage the identity theft and what needs to be done to protect myself from future events.

If it is a fake card, like this one…

I would also destroy the card and definitely would not be sucked into paying any money.

All scams I would report to Scamwatch and the relevant institution subject of the scam.