I’m at a loss - identity theft

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Headhurts, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Headhurts

    Headhurts Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    on 10/08 I phoned my bank as a payment for my milk delivery was declined, during the conversation the bank advised me it had picked up suspected fraud activity on my card we went through a few transactions which I said were not mine, the card was cancelled and a new one arrived a few days later.

    About a week later a letter arrived which asked me to sign and confirm I did not make these transactions, this I did and returned the letter thinking no more about it.

    On Thursday a letter from my bank arrived informing me that I had been dealing with a debt collection agency and two transactions I made would be debited from my account on or after 09/10 the amounts were over £1300 and accompanying this letter showed that the debt collection agency were working on behalf of HMRC in relation to overdue VAT.

    Apparently one of the directors phoned the debt collection company to report that the outstanding VAT would be cleared that day.

    Later in the day someone phoned twice using my name and my card details to clear their outstanding VAT.

    From the paperwork I could see the company name and name of director who phoned the debt collection agency, companies house shows this man as indeed a director of said company who are in Essex and apparently are in specialist construction.

    Now this is the first I had been made aware of this as my bank had not informed me this was going on, I am a retired man living a quiet life in Norfolk, I’m not VAT registered have no connection with this company and was amazed this particular fraud had not just been dismissed by my bank particularly as they had picked up on the fraudulent activity.

    I phoned my banks fraud department and asked why they had not taken a stance on my behalf, they said there was compelling evidence it was me.....

    The compelling evidence being someone had phoned the debt collection agency using my name and card details.

    Having argued my case they said they would defer payment and may take to arbitration with the card supplier.

    I asked if they would follow up this crime as the offender(s) must be contactable as they have a business address and owe VAT, the bank do not investigate further apparently.

    I then completed an online fraud report to Action Fraud and at the end of this it says individual cases are not investigated but those that are take around 3 months before I would get any update.

    Next I contacted HMRC VAT fraud who I thought would take this on but after getting the run around they did not seem overly interested so I completed an online HMRC fraud report.

    I then emailed my local police and phoned the 101 number they are not interested and referred me to Action Fraud... ahhhh!

    I have spoken with a solicitor who was surprised my bank had caved in so easily particularly as they had picked up on the fraudulent activity.

    I did think that I would contact the debt collection company but was advised not to as if they obtain my full details (at the moment they are dealing with the banks) they would only be interested in getting money from me.

    Who says crime does not pay?

    I have checked my Equifax account and this appears ok at moment, I have registered with CIFAS.

    It occurs to me that the debt collection agency may have valuable information that the police could follow up on for instance voice recordings and or telephone numbers.

    I just cannot seem to get anyone to follow up on this and any information ie recordings may be lost if this goes on too long.

    The company who owe the VAT seem dodgy the address and director has 3 other companies at the same address there are no contact details.

    So have I missed anything?

    This company have cleared their VAT bill with fraudulently obtained details and the only person being pursued is me.

    Any useful advice would be well received.

    Robin
     
  2. c63chris

    c63chris Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    There will be a complaints procedure within your bank. Pursue that at first and make it clear you will go to the Ombudsman if they don’t deal with it properly. Shoddy service. I had similar but Santander shut it all down and refunded my money so after the initial few days out of pocket all was good. Good luck
     
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  3. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Get all your cards replaced, change PINs, change passwords.

    Maybe sign up to something like Experian monitoring?

    Had you bought tickets on that card with with BA recently? They had a hacking incident where 380000 card details were compromised.
     
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  4. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    I am afraid I am not the bearer of good news.. :)

    I was a victim of idenity theft 3 times last year.

    To cut a long story short... two of the banks ended-up writing a letter of spology to me and also paid me a small amount in financial compensation for mishandling my complaints.

    The third just sent a letter of apology but did not make an offer of compensation.

    3 out of 3 is not a coincidence... the banks are overwhlend by fraud and routinely mishandle complaints.

    My advice is to try and get a 'dead end' letter in writing from the bank as soon as possible, or wait for the mandatory 8 weeks period to expire than complain to the Ombudsman immediately.
     
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  5. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    This is great advice here. Everything must be in writing or email dated etc with a clear chronological audit trail (if required). Set very clear response times in your letters!! “I expect to hear back from you by COB on the xx/xx/xxxx.

    Think of this as you have lost and now your complaint is being investigated. What would you expect to find documented?

    Look for their complaints procedure on-line and use it as a template (it may have one included). Use it as a “minimum” spec for what they require.

    Good luck.

    FYI. Most banks complaints people are contractors these days. They get paid on what they save the bank and not what they save you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Petrol Pete

    Petrol Pete Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What I find intriguing about this ,is that the OP has milk delivered !!! I didn't realise that was still a thing in 2018.

    Sorry for the hijack. I sympathise with you Headhurts . I had a £1000 disappear from one of my accounts , this was some years ago when a grand was a decent sum of money.

    I went around and around with the banks and the ombudsman . Never saw the money again even though the bank new the name, address and bank details of the person who's account it went into. I wish you luck.
     
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  7. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Also...... update the ActionFraud case with every piece of information you have on the perpetrators: names, private adresses, company registration number, telephone numbers etc (including information available from Companies House or social media e.g. Linkedin).

    The police do not get informed by ActionFruad regarding fraud where less than £100,000 were taken so they don't even get to know about the majority of reported fraud.

    But the ActionFruad computer has an algorithm where complaints with a large volume of easily-identifing UK-based data do get handed-over to the police even if they do not reach the £100,000 threshold, on the premise that they are statistically easy to solve.

    So the more information you have on there, the more likely that police will get informed and then potentially investigate.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Headhurts

    Headhurts Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Many thanks for the replies so far, I have already complained to my bank regarding their action or lack of and the case is now being handled by the ‘Centre of Excellence’ department.

    The thing that surprises me most is that on the face of it this could be an easy arrest for the police and an ability to clear up a few offences, after all if the debt collection agency contacted them then surely the police can.

    Robin
     
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  9. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    The banks don't help themselves in the matter of fraud.
    The crooks will almost always use a facility to move the money on, several times probably.
    Guess who provides such facilities?
     
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  10. Scott_F

    Scott_F Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    For the theft of a few thousand pounds I'm afraid I wouldn't expect any involvement from the police now or further down the line. No offence ever recorded; no action taken.

    And yet crime is falling......
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Headhurts

    Headhurts Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    sadly Scott you appear to be correct even though it would not take too much effort to find these people and I guess they know his that’s why they used a card fraudulently to pay their VAT bill.

    Robin
     
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  12. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    Do you think that’s right?
     
  13. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    This is correct, and the same applies to any petty offence that reaches epidemic proportions.

    In London, police no longer investigate mobile phone mugging by mopad gangs simply because they are so many of them occuring on daily basis.

    Of course if the police applied all their resources, using helicopters in real time, and allocating forensics experts and collecting and viewing CCTV images etc etc, then the vast majority of perpetrators would be caught.

    But once any criminal activity is allowed to go unchecked, it can be very difficult putting the genie back in the bottle.
     
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  14. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Another piece of technical information:

    If you did not actually lose any money personally, i.e. the fraud attempt failed before any monies were taken, or the bank agreed to refund the damage in full, then ActionFraud will not accept a crime report from you, only an incident report.

    The official explanation is that it's the banks responsibility to report the fraud or attempted fraud to ActionFraud, and if they issues you with a Crime Reference Number, then this will mean that the fraud will be counted in the statistical data as two separate crimes.

    So only the bank can have the fraud recorded as a 'crime', everyone else can only have it recorded as an 'incident'.

    (Unless obviously you lost money and the bank won't refund you)

    This actually makes sense, though it is counter-intuitive.

    A friend had his identity stolen by a fraudster who rang-up the DVLA and posed as my friend, asking for a replacement driving license to be sent by post to his home address. The fraudster then stole the DVLA letter from the local Royal Mail sorting office, and walked into a bank branch asking to make a large transfer from my friend's bank account (most probably having earlier stolen his bank statements from the same Royal Mail office..).

    By complete coincidence my friend was actually an employee of the bank up to 5 years ago... the staff at the branch knew who he was and rang him up on his mobile. Needless to say the fraudster ran away....

    But the point is that the above could only be reported by my friends as an 'incident', not a 'crime', because he lost no money.

    So someone walking into a branch trying to make a large transfer using false identity is not a 'crime'? Well it is, but you just can't report it as such (because the bank will).
     
  15. Scott_F

    Scott_F Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No I think it's pony.
     
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  16. OP
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    Headhurts

    Headhurts Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I’m sure you are correct on the day I phoned the bank I was told they had spotted fraudulent activity and they went through a list of quite a few transactions ranging from £900 to a couple of hundred for car parking.

    The bank said they would deal so nothing thus far has hit my account other than the one re the VAT fraud.

    It’s a shame these are not investigated properly, the car parking one would probably relate to a particular vehicle and most car parks have CCTV.

    Hey ho!

    Robin
     
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  17. OP
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    Headhurts

    Headhurts Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Update.

    My bank has finally resolved this in my favour.

    The debits are not to be taken and the debt is now to be pursued by the retailers and Visa.

    It still appears that no one is actually actively trying to find the offender(s) although I suppose the debt collection agency will recontact these directors on behalf of HMRC.

    My last conversation with my bank was to suggest asking said debt collection agency if they had a recorded conversation to review but apparently they are not authorised to do this.

    Robin
     
  18. pmcgsmurf

    pmcgsmurf Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the update, nice you can now rest a bit easier.
     
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  19. paul73mt

    paul73mt Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Glade you got it sorted !!! I friend of mine at my last work, had his card cloned from when he paid for a meal at a restaurant, Anyway that sat on the info for some time then started to draw money out of it £20 here £40 there etc etc then IT went up £2000 here (card purchases ) and more there etc etc . He reported it to the bank and went all the way through it and got the money back. Now due to the fact they got (somehow ) his account number etc, the bank gave him now account, cards etc. About 6 months later he had the police come round, asking that he had been using his old account ,Yep the bank had left it open so who ever had the info was still able and were using the money, At this point it was around 40K in the red. He had to go down the the police station to make statements have meeting with the bank etc all just because the bank didn't close the account.
     
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  20. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    Makes one wonder why the “Banks” tell to report “any suspicious activity” on our accounts.

    I would still do so and follow it up in writing stating clearly that I have notified them -date/time etc.


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