Diane arrived home and there was an unexpected package that had been left in the porch.
She took it in but didn’t open it. Then the next day a second parcel arrived. On opening both parcels she found some children’s clothes and shoes from Next.
She hadn’t ordered anything from Next and didn’t want children’s clothes or shoes. But the biggest problem was inside the package was a contract to sign confirming her credit account at Next and that £600 had been spent on it and she now owed £669 including interest.
Clearly someone had opened an account in her name, maxed out the credit limit and presumably the remaining items had been delivered to the thief. Why the thief’s first two parcels had been sent to Diane’s home was a mystery.
Diane should have called the Police to report this crime but she ignored it as she was busy.
Three days later another package was delivered to her home. This time is seemed to be a mobile phone and checking the courier website showed it had come from SKY TV. Diane did not have SKY TV and had not ordered a phone.
This woke her up – she was now determined to deal with this problem.
She asked her son Norman to contact Sky and deal with it.
Norman tried his best but the data protection laws mean that companies can only deal with the person who owns an account, not with a relative or friend. Norman did ascertain that the account in Diane’s name had been opened a few weeks previously and was marked “Closed – Do Not Re-open”.
Diane did eventually make the time to phone Sky and it seems the fraudster had ordered a top of the range IPhone worth over £700 and had paid £28 but when SKY did their credit check that it failed so they marked the item do not send. They couldn’t explain why it was actually sent but it seems the scammers didn’t know it had been sent out.
If the scammers had known, then the next likely part of the scam is for one of them to either turn up at the door pretending to be a courier asked to pick up the phone or they would arrange for a courier to pick up the phone to be returned, but actually to go to the scammers.
In this case, SKY agreed to send a reply paid box for the phone and it arrived and the phone was packed off safely after checking the delivery address was SKY TV not someone’s house.
Diane took advice and contacted her bank and credit card supplier to warn them of identity theft using her details.
She also contacted CIFAS (see blog post for more details https://fightback.ninja/cifas-registration-protects-against-identity-theft/ ) to register for protection against people opening accounts in her name.
In the following weeks there were no more incidents, so probably the fraudsters have moved on to other victims. However, the fraudsters still have Diane’s details so she has to remain vigilant against any further attempts to hijack her identity.
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