Tuesday, May 25, 2021

I must see the contract I supposedly signed to fight my identity theft

For the record, here is my latest letter to Simecom in response to the recent letter from one of the company's attorneys.

Egregio Dotoressa Mizrahil,

Thank you so much for responding, and it was especially kind of you to write in English as well. If it is easier, you may write to me in Italian, as I am much better at reading Italian than I am at speaking or writing. And of course, I can always get help from Google translate.

I also must tell you that it is difficult for me to refute your claims because I have not seen the contract you speak of. In fact, since I have never received a letter from Simecom, I have no idea why you believe I owe the company anything.  Could you please provide me with a copy of the said contract and any letters you have tried to send me? I would also like to see a copy of the document of identity that the person who took out the contract provided, if one was required. I understand that Simecom may have tried to contact me at my Montecarlo address, but I have been away from Italy for almost two years and have received no communication except an email notice from my bank that you have filed an Atto di Pignoramento against my account. I also do not have an Italian phone number.

I am not surprised by your answer, but I must appeal to your common sense and humanity. I believe that if you research my history, you can see I am not a “furbo.” If I was, why would I take out a contract in my own name, when it is especially easy to find me. In many ways, my life is an open book. In fact, I have written both a book and a blog about my experiences in Italy, so it is plain to see I have nothing to hide. You can even look at my blog and see when I am in Italy and when I am in the United States.

You say that the contract “should have been disclaimed.” Good point, but it is hard to disclaim something that I have not seen and only recently been made aware of. I will point out that when someone bought and sold cars in Roma using my name fraudulently, I did file a denuncia with the Carabiniere in Altopascio, Lucca (see attachment). I will gladly do the same with the contract you speak of the next time I am in Lucca, if you would be so good as to provide me a copy.

I realize that you may wish to use my lack of presence in Italy and mediocre skills in Italian against me. You represent your clients, and you want to be successful, both for your sake and that of the company. You may see me as easy prey. However, I am not so cynical to believe that you and the officials of Simecom are uncaring and without conscience. My grandparents and parents, citizens of Italy but living in the United States, taught me to love Italy and Italian culture. I have had nothing but the best of experiences in Italy, which is why I am trying to learn Italian and hope to divide the remaining years of my life between the United States and Montecarlo, the birthplace of my ancestors.

You point out that I have given “no proof of ‘furto d’identit√†’.” What kind of evidence would you accept? I would be happy to provide a letter from a handwriting expert to compare my signature with the one on the contract. I can also provide evidence of my whereabouts during the time period of the contract (assuming that you provide me with a copy of the contract and that it lists the dates in question). Without further information, I do not know what proof to provide.

I wish to make one final point. I have no training as a lawyer, nor do I wish to hire a lawyer. However, I do have training as a journalist and author. If you wish to persist in your legal strategy, I will use all my experience as a journalist to bring your actions into public view. I will start with my blog, which has had more than 500,000 page views in the last 10 years. From there, I will contact newspapers in Italy with my story. Some of them will respond, some will not. Lastly, I have written one book already about my experiences in Italy, and I have already started the sequel. And I will point out that it is not considered positive publicity for a big company to persecute an innocent individual. As you can see from this link, I have already started this process: http://livingwithabroadintuscany.blogspot.com/2021/05/here-we-go-again-another-attempt-to.html

I hope to hear from you very soon and wish you the very best.
Paul Robert Spadoni

Monday, May 24, 2021

Simecom lawyer writes me; a hopeful first step in my identity theft case

My message to Simecom made it through! I received a pleasant though insufficient response, and I’m happy I actually have someone on the company’s legal team I know I can communicate with now. They were kind enough to write me in English, though from the very first sentence I get the impression that my Italian might be equal to this person’s English. However, I will continue to write them in English, because I feel it will make a bad impression to write in imprecise or ungrammatical Italian.

Here is the letter:

Egregio Signor Spadoni,

You’d like to apologize me for my enghlish. I spoke to my client, Simecom s.r.l., telling your reasons.

However, we have a undersigned contract that, according to the Italian law, should have been disclaimed. Furthermore we have no proof of “furto d’identit√†”.

Therefor we can unlock the Bank account only if you pay the total ammount due: € 3.199,18. Otherwise we have to go to trial.

Please let me know by May 27th.

I hope to hear from you soon

Dott.ssa Ginevra Mizrahil

This is pretty much what I expected at this point, because Dottoressa Mizrahil is correct: I haven’t provided any real proof of identity theft. To do that, I will need a copy of the “undersigned contract” she mentions. My best hope is that the contract has a signature which does not come anywhere close to matching my own. That was the case with the auto bought and sold in my name about five years ago.

But my passport does have a copy of my signature, and the identity thief could have attempted to create a reasonable facsimile of my signature. But even in that case, I am prepared, because I’m friends with a certified handwriting expert who has more than 25 years of experience with disputed documents. He has examined “thousands of cases and tens of thousands of forged documents,” his website says. He has experience testifying in multiple courtrooms and administrative hearings. He has already messaged me and volunteered to write a letter or testify, if needed.

I will write back and request a copy of the contract and any other correspondence that Simecom has sent me—or tried to send—regarding the dispute. If they have tried to send letters by registered mail, I’ve not been in Montecarlo to sign for them. And if they have sent messages by regular mail, they have no proof I’ve received them—which is accurate, because I have not.

So while I feel confident I could prevail in a legal case, my goal is still to convince Simecom that it’s a waste of time to take this to court. I don’t want to hire a lawyer, and I don’t want to make a special trip to Italy just to clear this up. I will use all my skills in persuasive writing to compose my next letter to Simecom. I will post the letter on my blog soon.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Here is my appeal to the managing director of Simecom and his lawyers

For an explanation of why I am sending this letter, please see previous blog entry: Another attempt to scam people . . .

Egregio Signor Federico Bonaventura

I am writing in the hope of saving both your company and me from hours of unproductive time and money. The ten minutes it takes to read this could save you many hours and legal fees, all of which will be wasted.

Although born and raised in the United States, I became an Italian citizen jure sanguinis in 2011. I am writing in English because I speak only very basic Italian. In 2015, I purchased a home in Montecarlo, Lucca, with the hope of living there after my retirement. However, I am still working part time in the United States, so I have not been able to spend more than a few months a year in Italy, and I have not been to my home in Montecarlo since 2019 because of Covid-19 restrictions.

At some point after I became an Italian citizen, someone obtained a copy of my Italian passport and has been using it to assume my identity and avoid paying fees and taxes. This person has bought and sold cars and telephones in my name and made false Facebook pages using my name while  attempting to befriend and then defraud people. I don’t know who or how this person obtained a copy of my passport, but hotels and cruise ships routinely hold or copy a person’s passport for identification purposes, so it is not difficult to imagine how it could be done.

Why am I writing to you? Because I just discovered that my bank account in Pescia has been frozen because of legal action your company is taking against me. I do not know the details yet, since I have not been in Italy since 2019 and have not been receiving any mail. However, my bank has just informed me that your company has filed an Atto di Pignoramento (see attachment) against my account, and since I have never even heard of your company before this time, I can only assume that it is another case of a Furto d'identità.

I can offer various proofs of my whereabouts in the years since I obtained my citizenship and passport, and my life and times in Italy are well documented because I write a blog during my days in Italy. In this blog, I have written about some of the troubles I’ve had with identity theft. Here are some of those articles, which I encourage you to read:
https://livingwithabroadintuscany.blogspot.com/2018/03/facing-high-stake-challenge-i-must.html
http://livingwithabroadintuscany.blogspot.com/2018/04/slow-progress-in-my-case-of-furto.html
https://livingwithabroadintuscany.blogspot.com/2018/04/another-scam-attempt-using-my.html

I realize that you may ignore this letter and let the justice of the peace and courts sort out the truth, but that will cost us all a lot of time and trouble. Why waste your company’s money on something that is obviously going to be unfruitful?

Here is more information about me that might prove useful. I am a freelance journalist who has been published in more than a dozen American magazines and newspapers. I am the author of an Amazon best-selling book “An American Family in Italy.” I am a speaker at civic meetings on Italian culture and my experiences in Italy. In fact, this whole misadventure of my identity theft will make a good chapter in my next book, but it might cause some unfortunate and negative publicity for your company if I must write that you ignored my letter and went ahead and tried to collect on a debt that you had been warned was a scam.

In addition, I can give you the following timeline of my vacations and residencies in Italy, from 2011 until today. I don’t know when the truffatore using my name incurred a debt with your firm, but it is quite likely during a time that I was in the United States.

Paul Robert Spadoni, Sequenza temporale

Nato: 26-01-1953 a Tacoma, Washington  USA

Genitori: Julius D Spadoni e Margaret M Wagoner

30 genaio-7 maggio 2011
Vacanza in Italia. Ho soggiornato al Casolare dei Fiori, Montecarlo, LU, per la maggior parte del tempo.

Aprile 2011
Citadinanza: USA. Riconosciuto come cittadino italiano all’estero (AIRE) jure sanguinis 7 aprile, 2011. Registrato a Pescia, Pistoia.

Codice fiscale: Ricevuto codice fiscale nell'aprile 2011 presso l'Agenzia delle Entrate, Pescia, Pistoia.

Ottobre 2011
Passaporto italiano: Ricevuto 11 ottobre 2011 a San Francisco, California  USA

08 febbraio-7 maggio 2012
Vacanza in Italia. Ho soggiornato a Padova per un mese ed al Casolare dei Fiori Montecarlo, per due mese. Ho anche preso una crociera di 5 giorni con Costa.

02 marzo-28 aprile 2013
Vacanza in Italia. Ho soggiornato al Casolare dei Fiori Montecarlo.

29 gennaio-30 aprile 2014
Vacanza in Italia. Ho soggiornato al Casolare dei Fiori, Montecarlo, per la maggior parte del tempo. Ho anche preso una crociera di 12 giorni con Costa.

5 febbraio-28 aprile 2015
Vacanza in Italia. Ho soggiornato al Casolare dei Fiori, Montecarlo, per la maggior parte del tempo. Ho anche fatto una gita di 10 giorni in Sicilia con Rick Steves Tours.

29 ottobre-13 novembre 2015
Sono venuto a Montecarlo per fare il pagamento finale e prendere possesso di una casa in via Roma, 49, Montecarlo, LU 55015

9 febbraio-6 maggio 2016
Montecarlo in casa mia. Sono diventato residente a Montecarlo 21 marzo.

26 settembre-10 novembre 2016
Montecarlo in casa mia. Ho anche fatto una gita di 10 giorni in Italia Sud con Rick Steves Tours.

11 febbraio-8 maggio 2017
Montecarlo in casa mia.

9-30 ottobre 2017
Montecarlo in casa mia.

5 marzo-9 maggio 2018
Montecarlo in casa mia.

8 ottobre-8 novembre 2018
Montecarlo in casa mia.

29 genaio-29 aprile 2019
Montecarlo in casa mia

3 novembre-25 novembre 2019
Montecarlo in casa mia

If it would help, I can also provide many positive character references from my acquaintances in Montecarlo, including officials from the comune and pastors in our local church. I hope to hear from you soon.

Cordiali saluti,
Paul Robert Spadoni

 

Here we go again! Another attempt to scam people using my good name

My evil “twin” has struck again, claiming my identity to run up some utility bills with Simecom Gas e Luce, an energy company located Crema, near Milano. I know absolutely no details about when, where or how my name was used, but I know that Simecom is taking this seriously, because they have filed a court action claiming that I owe them € 3.199,18. Furthermore, they have frozen my Italian bank account, which is set up to automatically pay for my water and garbage, and my real energy bills, which are to a different company.

I found out about this on May 3, when I received an email from an official at my bank:

Buonasera Paul,

Stiamo cercando di contattarla per comunicarle dell'avvenuto pignoramento del saldo sul conto presso la Sede Alberghi da parte della ditta Simecom Srl.

La prego di chiamarci allo 0572 459580 oppure di comunicarci per mail il suo recapito telefonico.

Grazie,
Susanna Finocchi

Basically, this says Simecom has filed to foreclose our bank account and claim the money in it. At first, I suspected that there was something fishy about Simecom, but it is a legitimate company that has been in business for more than 60 years. After requesting help from dear friend Elena Benevenuti, we received from our bank an emailed copy of the court filing from March of 2020 asking the justice of the peace in Lucca to freeze our account. Furthermore, I am supposed to appear before the “Tribunale di Lucca il 7 luglio (July 7) 2021.”

No details are given of how I supposedly ran up this bill. Elena wrote me: “The bank highly recommends NOT TO SEND ANY MORE MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT until your position is clear, because they are compelled to stop all your money (the one in the account and the future income). I stay constantly in touch with the bank. I am sure we will solve the problem.”


Readers who have been following my blog will know that a fake Paul Spadoni in Italy has also used my name and codice fiscale (similar to a Social Security number) to buy and sell cars and take out a phone contract, as well as trying to scam private individuals in various ways.

It is likely that Simecom has sent notices in the mail to my Montecarlo address, but because of COVID-19, I have not been in Italy since fall of 2019. The letters could be in my postal box, or they may not have been delivered at all if they required a signature.

In any event, I would just as soon keep my money, but what am I to do? My Italian language skills are only so-so, and because of work and family obligations, I can’t go to Italy in July. Of course, I have Elena and another friend, Angelika, to help me, but I should probably hire a lawyer to represent me in court, or at least to request a continuance.

However, I have some faith in the common sense and humanity of the people in Italy (well, not in the guy who keeps trying to assume my identity, but most Italians), so I’ve decided to appeal directly to the lawyers at Simecom. I will write them to explain the situation and hope that someone takes the time to read my rather lengthy plea. My next blog entry will be a copy of my letter, which I will write in English in the confidence that some of the lawyers at the firm must read English better than I write in Italian.

You can click here to read the letter.