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    • Aimee1993
    • By Aimee1993 15th Jan 20, 7:47 PM
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    Aimee1993
    Fraudulent phone contract
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:47 PM
    Fraudulent phone contract 15th Jan 20 at 7:47 PM
    A few months ago my partner was contacted by a company called Lowell who claimed to have taken over a debt from EE for over 1000. He has never had a phone contract in his own name as his is still tied into a deal with his parents which is always renewed. He believes that someone he used to work for may have used his details as they would have had access to his address and pay slips which could have been used as ID. All phone calls from the phone were also made to foreign numbers and the man he worked for was foreign. We have already explained that it is not his debt and the police have given us an incident number. As the money has never been taken out of his bank account the police are saying it is not a crime and cannot issue a crime number. Lowell investigated the case but came back to us saying that account was registered to his home address and has had some payments made so must be legitimate. Yet none of the payments have been made from his bank account.
    Apparently the account was opened in store but may not have required photo ID.
    Is there anything we can do? As this debt is not his and it is seriously affecting his credit score which says payments have not been paid since May 2017!
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 15th Jan 20, 7:51 PM
    • 24,829 Posts
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:51 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:51 PM
    If that's their final response, go to FOS and ICO.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 15th Jan 20, 8:59 PM
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    sourcrates
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 8:59 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 8:59 PM
    In addition, keep all your evidence, so if this matter ever gets to court, you can state your case in front of the judge.
    If you haven’t made an official complaint to Lowell, then I suggest you do so, if you have, and you’ve had their final response, then do as advised above and escalate your complaint to both the FOS and the ICO.

    The FOS (financial ombudsman service) can penalise Lowell if they find in your favour, the ICO (information commissioners office) deals with all data protection issues, and can help you with your credit file.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to:
    forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.
    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 15th Jan 20, 9:57 PM
    • 4,763 Posts
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    Ben8282
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 9:57 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 9:57 PM
    All phone calls from the phone were also made to foreign numbers
    How do you know this as you will not have seen the itemised bills? I can imagine a fraudster fraudulently obtaining a contract phone to get the phone, but to then use it to make full rate calls to foreign numbers ….
    I am also slightly surprised that the network did not put any bar on the phone before over 1000 worth of foreign calls were made. It was after all presumably a new account. You say his employer was foreign and the calls were made to foreign numbers but do not specify the nationality of the employer or the country to which the calls were made. Was it the same country? You also say employer. Not work collegue, but the actual employer ….

    I find it hard to accept that the store would have accepted just payslips as valid ID. He would need more than that.

    Have you checked his credit files to check if the account is shown there? You say that payments have not been made since May 2017 so the account must be long defaulted. It defies belief that no correspondence of any sort was received at your address addressed to your partner when the payment became overdue, then more letters then a notice of default. Has your partner not experienced any difficulties in obtaining credit in the almost 3 years since the payments stopped? Nothing to cause him concern or check his credit files to see the existance of this account and the default prior to the DCA contact?

    Lowell appear to have been very informative. Did they tell you where the payments came from? Whose account? It would be highly unusual for the mobile phone company not to require payment by direct debit and even more unusual for the fraudster to have set the direct debit up on their own bank account..

    Are you sure that your partner is being entirely truthful about this with you?
    Last edited by Ben8282; 16-01-2020 at 5:57 AM.
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 16th Jan 20, 4:13 AM
    • 2,210 Posts
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    nic_c
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 4:13 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 4:13 AM
    Photo ID is not required to open mobile phone contracts, they are service agreements not consumer credit agreements, so it can be up to the store. Did your partner never receive the statements - usually with contract mobiles they would have sent something - especially once payments stopped.

    As Lowell seem to have information, have you requested copies of statements. If payments have been made have you asked for details of the payment methods.You need to request they treat it as fraud as well.

    It could be identity theft, phone up action fraud who will give a CRN if the police won't. So if Lowell need one - they don't because the theft was against EE as your partner has not had payments gone out of account, but it can be put as a roadblock, so get one from ActionFraud.

    However usually fraudsters do not pay - it's the whole point of committing fraud. Is your partner certain he had no knowledge of it i.e. the work colleague wanted a phone but couldn't get one as was a foreign national so your partner helped get them the phone but they were going to pay. It's just strange how you are fairly certain it is this one work colleague when if calls are foreign could be simple ID theft.
    • tommyedinburgh
    • By tommyedinburgh 16th Jan 20, 9:08 PM
    • 50 Posts
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    tommyedinburgh
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:08 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:08 PM
    Good luck, something similar happened to me, cut a long story short, a girl I was seeing for a little while provided an undesirable she was connected to with all they/he needed.

    I was able to satisfy the police it had happened - no action taken.

    Provided O2 with all the information - not interested as debt sold to Lowells.

    Lowells listened - accepted it was fraud but refused to remove the default. They decided not to pursue the debt, they wrote to me at my request to confirm this but won't address the default. It comes of in October and hasn't stopped any credit applications etc but it's highly annoying.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 16th Jan 20, 9:43 PM
    • 4,763 Posts
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    Ben8282
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:43 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:43 PM
    Good luck, something similar happened to me, cut a long story short, a girl I was seeing for a little while provided an undesirable she was connected to with all they/he needed.

    I was able to satisfy the police it had happened - no action taken.

    Provided O2 with all the information - not interested as debt sold to Lowells.

    Lowells listened - accepted it was fraud but refused to remove the default. They decided not to pursue the debt, they wrote to me at my request to confirm this but won't address the default. It comes of in October and hasn't stopped any credit applications etc but it's highly annoying.
    Originally posted by tommyedinburgh
    if you have provided evidence of fraud and that it was not you who took out the contract and such evidence has been accepted as you state, then the default must be removed. Would suggest that you threaten the DCA with legal action if they refuse to remove your default
    • tommyedinburgh
    • By tommyedinburgh 16th Jan 20, 10:15 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    tommyedinburgh
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:15 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:15 PM
    if you have provided evidence of fraud and that it was not you who took out the contract and such evidence has been accepted as you state, then the default must be removed. Would suggest that you threaten the DCA with legal action if they refuse to remove your default
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    I genuinely felt I was getting somewhere with O2 a Lowell at one point.

    It got to the stage I simply stopped caring because I knew I had no reason to worry essentially as it wasn't stopping me getting mortgages, car finance or switching bank accounts for the offers etc.

    I honestly felt as if it was a war of attrition so to speak about how far i'd go to make them do what was needed.
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