Ichabod is itchy

September 27, 2006

A letter from Budapest

Filed under: life — by ichabodisitchy @ 6:03 pm

Last week our old neighbour phoned us up to say that someone had tried to deliver something for Lewis, but that it required a signature. It having been his birthday last week, Lewis was quite excited at the prospect of a birthday parcel– albeit slightly annoyed at the Post Office, given that we’ve especially paid them to get post redirected to our new address.

So it was with some anticipation that we answered the doorbell on Saturday morning and signed for our delivery. Sadly for Lewis, it turned out not to be a birthday present but was, instead, a flat envelope stamp-marked Budapest.

Upon opening it, we discovered a four-page letter — in Hungarian — from Sigma Credit Management Company. Luckily a small excerpt of the letter was (badly) translated into English– it informed us that Lewis owed the Hungarian government £31 in unspecified ‘tax and duties’, and that it had to be payed within 30 days or we would be issued with a fine.

Somewhat perplexing– given that we know no-one in Hungary and Lewis has never even set foot in the country.

We checked out the company online and it’s all legit. So Lewis phoned them up yesterday. Turns out that ‘somebody’ with the name Philip Lewis, allegedly from the UK owes the Hungarian government £31. The company charged with collecting this money has no contact details for this person, so they ‘look up the name on the computer’ and then send off a letter to the first person whose details come up, cross their fingers that they’ve got the right one, and hope for the best! Is it just me, or does this seem a crazy way to collect taxes?

So when Lewis said ‘well, it’s not me’, they just shrugged their shoulders, said ‘sorry to have bothered you– we’ll try the next one down the list’.  Unbelievable.



  1. Scary stuff, especially when you have a memory like mine and can’t remember if you’ve been somewhere or spent money there….

    (this is me, Maxine, btw)

    Comment by Web editor — September 28, 2006 @ 8:46 pm |Reply

  2. Actually, it does sound like a scam doesn’t it? We had a similar type of thing going on here. A company sent out bills for bogus directory listings. They had discovered that many people simply assume that the bill is correct and so a good percentage of invoices are paid without question.

    Comment by Susan — September 30, 2006 @ 9:22 pm |Reply

  3. This is very interesting site…

    Comment by Sharon — February 14, 2007 @ 4:56 pm |Reply

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