Home Money My mortgage application was rejected because a scammer opened a Three mobile account in my name

My mortgage application was rejected because a scammer opened a Three mobile account in my name

by Elijah
0 comment
Scam: Our reader had a mobile phone contract open in his name - and when payments were missed it damaged his credit score (stock image)

When Daniel Goble’s mortgage application was rejected, he didn’t know it was because a scammer had opened a Three mobile account in his name a year before.

After some research, he learned the scammer had used his name and an old address where he no longer lived to open a Three mobile account and order a phone.

The bank details used to open the account were fake, so he didn’t lose any money. But that meant the phone bill was never paid – and that’s where Daniel got into trouble.

The scammer got a free high-end phone, while Daniel, 46, from Kent, saw his credit score damaged after the Three account fell into default following five missed payments totaling 643.09 £.

Scam: Our reader had a mobile phone contract open in his name - and when payments were missed it damaged his credit score (stock image)

Scam: Our reader had a mobile phone contract open in his name – and when payments were missed it damaged his credit score (stock image)

When he asked for the account to be identified as fraudulent and closed, Three couldn’t even find it.

The account has since been closed, but Three informed Daniel that it could take up to 30 days to remove the account from his credit report.

This means his mortgage application and move have been thrown into disarray.

Daniel said: This still has repercussions. I’m trying to transfer my existing mortgage to my provider, and my mortgage advisor has had to write long letters as lawyers urge us to take the next steps – but we can’t because of this delay.

But how did the scammer manage to order a phone and conclude a contract using bank details that didn’t exist in the first place?

This is not the first time that This is Money has had to intervene to help customers who have fraudulently taken out a Three mobile contract in their name.

Last June, we helped a customer whose credit score had dropped because a fraudster opened a Three account using false banking details, but the correct name and address.

Three of them confirmed that the account had been opened fraudulently and closed it. The mobile operator told This is Money that: “We will review our systems based on this (customer) experience to avoid a similar situation in the future. »

Since then, This is Money has heard from other customers who have also had a Three mobile account deleted in their name by scammers using fake bank details.

Iain Ogilvie, from West Oxfordshire, is one such customer. On Friday March 1, 2024, he received confirmation of a direct debit warrant from Three. The name and address were correct, but the bank details were made up.

It turned out that fraudsters had ordered two mobile phones in his name.

Iain said: “It boggles the mind that they don’t validate new accounts and make sure bank details are correct before sending a mobile phone.

“Three’s registration process completely lacks verification. I was informed of the fraud because I am still at the same address, and I received the direct debit mandate by post. But I fear this will happen to other people who are not aware of it.

“Surely Three should spend some time sorting this out. Two devices were sent to scammers who hadn’t paid for them, and three of them likely suffered a financial loss.

According to UK Finance, banks are only informed of new contracts once payments or direct debits have started. He states that controls aimed at preventing this type of fraud would therefore be the responsibility of the companies issuing the contracts.

Martyn James, a consumer advocate, said: “The scam seems to happen with most, but not all, phone companies – but scammers trade information with those with the most lax security procedures. »

A UK Finance spokesperson said: “What happened was that someone entered bank details and the mobile operator accepted them and did not verify them. Having customers receive letters requesting payment means no money leaves a bank account.

“The company would have to check the details and the fact that this is happening may mean that they have no oversight over this.”

A spokesperson for Three said: “Being a victim of fraud is a frustrating and frightening experience. The fight against fraud is constantly evolving due to the changing tactics of criminals. We therefore continually invest in our systems to detect threats and train our staff.

“Both of these accounts have now been confirmed to be fraudulent and will be properly closed. We apologize that in these cases customer service was not up to our usual high standards.

This type of fraud is an example of identity fraud. This happens when a scammer uses your name, address, or date of birth to create another “you.”

An identity thief may use several methods to discover your personal information and will then use it to open bank accounts, take out credit cards, loans, or apply for state benefits in your name.

Warning: Fraudsters can access your information in several ways, including through forms completed online.

Warning: Fraudsters can access your information in several ways, including through forms completed online.

Warning: Fraudsters can access your information in several ways, including through forms completed online.

Martyn James said: “The problem arises through online application forms. If you remember applying in person for a phone contract, you were required to provide photo ID and proof of address.

“I don’t know what the requirements are in place now, but it appears that this process is not as strict as it used to be.”

Often, if you open an account with Three or other in-store mobile providers, you will need to provide physical proof of identity, but this is not the case for online applications.

money item html_snippet module" data-channel-color="money"> 1707393328 462 Home insurance prices up 13 in a year heres

Identity fraud is on the rise according to Cifas, the UK fraud prevention service. It currently represents 64 percent of cases filed in the national Cifas fraud database.

In the first nine months of 2023, three-quarters of identity fraud cases involved identity theft fraud.

Over the past two years, telecommunications companies have been targeted more than most other sectors, Cifas said.

Nearly 5 percent of the total number of disputes accepted by the Communications Ombudsman in the last 12 months were related to security concerns across the communications sector, including fraud, data protection and equipment theft.

How do fraudsters obtain your information to steal your identity?

Fraudsters use a variety of tactics to steal people’s information. They can get them from a piece of mail they see left outside, or look up a person’s contact information online and enter it when ordering a phone.

A Cifas spokesperson said: “We are seeing a significant increase in the number of fraudsters stealing information from devices, mainly laptops and phones, as well as impersonating providers (increasingly using fake emails and cold calling) to obtain personal and financial information. »

Martyn James said: “The main problem is that during the pandemic the whole identity verification process was moved online, which meant identity had to be provided by photographing or scanning a document and downloading it.

“If no information on your passport or driving license is required, then someone just needs a bill in a trash can to steal your information. Or, if they have enough data to be able to hack into one of your other accounts, they can download a bill or statement and use it for the app.

money" data-version="2" id="mol-1bf1e560-e2c0-11ee-9e13-994800b761a0" data-permabox-url="https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/beatthescammers/article-13201135/My-mortgage-application-rejected-scammer-opened-Three-mobile-account-name.html"> What to do if your identity is stolen

If you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud, you should report all lost or stolen documents, such as passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards and checkbooks to the agency that delivered them.

Inform your bank, building society and credit card company of any unusual transactions on your statement.

Request a copy of your credit report to check any suspicious credit applications. Then report the theft of personal documents and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.

Cifas is the UK’s fraud prevention service. You can contact them to request a protection registration.

Once registered, Cifas members will carry out additional checks when someone, including you, requests a financial service, such as a loan, using your address.

A Cifas spokesperson said: “We always recommend victims speak to the supplier in question immediately and report the incident to Action Fraud. »

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationships to affect our editorial independence.

You may also like