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View Full Version : Who is the Scammer? You decide!


Aria
05-08-2015, 02:28 AM
Another thread reminded me of this incredibly strange incident.

A dealer called in because a customer was in store. He had full picture ID and the dealer was trying to set up new service. He got a matching account and called me. I pulled it up and the dealer asked me where it was, how long it had been in place, yadda yadda. I gave the info and then things got weird.

Dealer: That makes sense... the customer says his ID was stolen a year and a half ago. (roughly when the account was started) That account is fraudulent, can you remove it?

Me: ... *unusual request, must check everything* *pulls up credit history* o_O? Um... This customer has paid his bill on time and in full, every month. I really can't do that. Would you like the number for the fraud department?

Dealer: I have his picture ID in front of me!

Me: I believe you but... someone stole his ID to open an account, pay it on time every month and build up good credit for him?

Dealer: But if they didn't pay he would be responsible, wouldn't he?

Me: Theoretically, yes. However... *checks* It's pre-authorized to a credit card so this seems unlikely. Are you SURE the customer doesn't know about this account?

Dealer: No, he definitely didn't set it up. You need to take it out.

Me: You need to talk to fraud. *thinking: I'm not touching this with a ten foot pole*

The dealer REALLY didn't like my answer and argued for a while before finally giving up. So weird. I wonder who had the fraudulent ID...

wolfie
05-08-2015, 02:57 AM
So the existing account was created around a year and a half ago (when the customer's ID was stolen), and has been paid in full and on time each month. I can think of a few reasons for someone to use stolen ID to set up an account:

- Scammer, wants "free" service for as long as it takes for the account to be shut off, and not traceable to him for bill collection purposes. Wouldn't pay the bill, so this isn't what happened.

- Drug dealer or other criminal, wants service not traceable to him in order to minimize risk of it being monitored by the police going after accounts under his name. Might pay the bill in order to keep an account "live", but wouldn't use plastic (traceable), and wouldn't keep the account for a year and a half (vulnerable to traffic analysis). Unlikely to be this.

- Scammer again, using an ID he stole a while back. Just a coincidence that the person whose ID he stole set up an account at around the time of the theft. True owner of the ID wouldn't want to get service cut off, so would pay the bill each month. Also, wouldn't care about anyone tracing the account to him, so would use plastic for convenience. This one sounds promising.

I can imagine the shitstorm if the dealer had reached a co-worker (rather than you) and had managed to bully them into cutting off a legitimate customer so that he could make a sale to a scammer.

EricKei
05-08-2015, 03:01 AM
On the second one -- Aria mentioned a "pre-authorized" CC ... Aria, do you mean a prepaid one with no actual name attached to it or something like that? Just curious.

cleorose
05-08-2015, 03:26 AM
My guess would be that the guy is in a contract he wants to change phones or terms of contract and he figures fastest way out is to scream fraud. You know how people are about upgrading their phones and not having to pay for it.

The other option (I watch too much tv lol) is that guy bought a phone for his gf in his name and maybe he dumped her and wants to redo the account for another woman on the side lol?

MoonCat
05-08-2015, 03:45 AM
The customer SAYS his credit card was stolen a year and a half ago. Is there proof of that? I like cleorose's idea about him trying to get out of the old contract.

Aria
05-08-2015, 03:49 AM
On the second one -- Aria mentioned a "pre-authorized" CC ... Aria, do you mean a prepaid one with no actual name attached to it or something like that? Just curious.

No, that wouldn't work. Normal credit card, should be traceable to a bank.

My guess would be that the guy is in a contract he wants to change phones or terms of contract and he figures fastest way out is to scream fraud. You know how people are about upgrading their phones and not having to pay for it.

The other option (I watch too much tv lol) is that guy bought a phone for his gf in his name and maybe he dumped her and wants to redo the account for another woman on the side lol?

Oh, no, I should have specified... this wasn't cell phone service. It was internet. Nothing but an internet account. Those kind of accounts don't have contracts of any kind. :shrug:

NecessaryCatharsis
05-08-2015, 10:37 PM
Maybe the customer was telling the truth and the scammer legitimately wanted internet, so used his stolen id gained credit card to pay for it.

mathnerd
05-09-2015, 12:37 AM
Actually, don't discount the idea that a scammer could use somebody else's ID to set up an account and keep it paid. In the short amount of time I was in loans and lines at MajorBank before I moved to deposit operations, I saw this exact same thing play out three separate times.

1) Divorced couple. Wife had good credit, husband did not. Husband set up a line of credit account in her name just prior to the final hearing that wife did not know about. Account is active and in good standing for five years. Wife tries to buy a house but her debt to income ratio is thrown off by this account she has no knowledge of. Account is researched and truth is revealed. The account was never late, but it did have a $40k balance, which kept her from buying the house.

2) Parents had crappy credit and set up a line of credit account in a child's name. Child, now age 20 something is trying to buy a car, but her credit pull again shows this credit line that throws her debt to income ratio out of acceptable range even though it was being paid on time every month. This one was easy, as the LCA was opened when child was roughly 3 months old.

3) Man is trying to buy a car. Again, debt to income ratio is bad because of a line of credit account he knows nothing about. Payment history again is just peachy. Research is done and when we disclose the date the account was opened, he immediately said it was impossible that it was him, because he was in prison at that time. Man eventually figures out that it was his brother that had opened the account under his name because the brother's credit wasn't good enough to open his own.

Aria
05-09-2015, 03:04 AM
Maybe the customer was telling the truth and the scammer legitimately wanted internet, so used his stolen id gained credit card to pay for it.

Could be. The part about putting it onto pre-authorized payments is weird, though.

@mathnerd I hear ya. This account though... it's just high speed. ANYONE can have an account like that. Even if we need a deposit, it's only like 50 dollars. There's no real way to rack up a huge bill on an account like that... it's just 40 odd bucks a month, like clockwork. :shrug: That's why I was so baffled and suspicious. I don't think it's beyond plausibility that the guy in store had fake ID...