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'Fraudsters used my identity for mobile phones'

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

  • Kerry Jones, who's been in a battle with Vodafone regarding identity fraud on her mobile phone account.

  • Kerry Jones, who's been in a battle with Vodafone regarding identity fraud on her mobile phone account. Ref:TRJJ20120914B-002_C

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DEMANDS have been made to the boss of Vodafone to reveal how a fraudster posed as a Carnon Downs woman to buy mobile phones without her knowledge.

Kerry Jones knew nothing about the fraud until she received an e-mail confirming she had signed up to a monthly contract, worth £208, along with two Blackberry phones and an iPhone.

She said: "A person walked into a Vodafone store in Essex and managed to obtain three mobile phone contracts and attach them to my account fraudulently.

"While in this store they also changed my address to one in West Bromwich, which is where they had the new mobile phones sent. This was all very strange."

Explanation

The mother of two contacted the Truro store demanding an explanation and what details the fraudster used to access her account – details it refused to pass on.

To prevent it being used to buy more goods, she changed her bank accounts and direct debits.

After three weeks, frustrated with Vodafone, she contacted a police fraud investigator in Essex, the communications ombudsman, CAB and Sarah Newton, MP.

She added: "I have received a letter from Sarah Newton that says she has written to Vodafone's chief executive requesting his comments on my case and the information I require be passed on to me.

"The ombudsman said I have no legal rights and Vodafone is within their rights not to disclose information to me. All I want to know is what personal information and or identification this person used of mine to obtain these mobile contracts.

"I am angry and confused. There seems to be nothing that I can do to stop this. Why hasn't the law protected me when I was the intended victim?"

Mrs Newton would not comment on the personal request.

Essex police fraud investigator Terry Wheeler said identity fraud was increasing and an "exceedingly frustrating problem that is endemic across the mobile phone industry".

Vodafone told the West Briton the fraudster knew sufficient information about Mrs Jones to pass its security checks.

It added: "Individual cases are not reported to the police, however, we do gather intelligence from all fraud reports. If we establish that several cases are linked and perhaps indicate that organised crime is involved, then providing we have sufficient evidence to progress the matter further, we will involve the police at this stage."

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