Credited With A Lot Of Fraud

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Right | July 4, 2017

(I’m working in the call center for a cell phone company in the late 90s. This is back when you have to put down a sizeable deposit for the phones if you didn’t have really good credit. As long as you make all of your payments on time, you get the deposit back in six months. I get a call and do the standard greeting, including getting the account number so that I can pull up the account.)

Me: “Thank you very much, sir. And how can I help you today?”

Customer: “You can turn my d*** phones back on! And I expect compensation for them being down all day! I’m trying to run a business here!”

Me: “My apologies for the inconvenience, sir. Let me take a look at that.”

(I find that his phones were deliberately deactivated and that there’s a note from the fraud department not to reactivate the phones and to forward the customer to them.)

Me: “Ah, yes, Mr. [Customer], it looks like I’m going to have to get another department on the line.”

Customer: “Well, hurry it up! And get your supervisor on the line while you’re at it, you incompetent a**!”

(I put him on hold and dial the fraud department number. When I tell him the account number, he laughs.)

Fraud CSR: “Yeah, put him through. Oh, and stay on the line, you’ll love this!” *I pipe in the customer and make the introductions* “Yes, Mr. [Customer], the reason we froze your account is that we discovered an irregularity in it. It appears that the credit check for the account was run on your father’s social security number.”

Customer: “Yeah, so? It’s a family business!”

Fraud CSR: “Well, the problem is that the credit check was run about three months after your father’s date of death.”

Customer: “…”

Fraud CSR: “Now, of course, deliberately using someone else’s credit like that is a form of identity theft, and prosecutable under both state and federal laws. Fortunately for you, I’m lazy and don’t feel like appearing in court. So how about if we re-run the credit check with your real information, you put down whatever deposit is needed, and we all go on with our lives?”

Customer: “…all right.”

Fraud CSR: *after getting the customer’s information and running the check* “Yes, sir, it appears that with your credit, you will need to put down a $500 deposit on each of those three phones for a total of $1500. Do you have a card we can go ahead and put that on?”

(A deposit of $500 per phone meant that his credit rating was really in a ditch.)

Customer: “What?! That’s f****** insane! Why should I have to put down that much for a deposit?”

Fraud CSR: “Because that is the deposit required with your current credit rating. If you make all of your payments on time for the next six months, we’ll release the deposit back to you.”

Customer: “But I’ve already had the phones for the last nine months!”

Fraud CSR: “Technically, sir, your father had the phones for the last nine months.”

Customer: “But he’s dead!”

Fraud CSR: “Yes, sir, that would actually be our whole point.”

(After a bit more back-and-forth and some choice expletives, the customer hangs up.)

Me: *laughing* “Wow. That’s incredible.”

Fraud CSR: *sighing* “That’s not the worst of it. You know how we caught him? His ex-wife called because she saw a ping from us on her eight-year-old son’s credit report — along with a lot of other activity — and called us to make sure that the kid didn’t have an account with us in his name. Ruining your own kid’s credit? What kind of a****** does that? Anyway, she said she’s already got law enforcement in the loop, so I didn’t see the need to get [Company] further involved.”

(It turned out that listening in to the conversation and documenting it came in handy. The customer started going from store to store demanding that somebody “fix” his account. I ended up faxing the notes to every store in his area so that they wouldn’t be caught off-guard. Hopefully the ex-wife filed charges.)

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