Living In His Own Lie

, , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

(I work for a utility company in western New York. This customer calls asking for service. From time to time, people call and find out that somebody has used their info to fraudulently start service. This is not one of these situations. I have just informed this customer that he has had two different accounts under his name with our company. He insists he has never had service, so I take a closer look.)

Me: “Sir, I see here that the first address where you previously had service was taken over by your wife after your account ended.”

Customer: “I lived there but it was never in my name. It was only in my wife’s name. I have never had service; somebody must have stolen my identity.”

Me: “Hmm… I also see that the second account listed is at the very same address and it starts immediately after your wife’s account ends. You had service two times at an address where you actually lived.” 

Customer: “I don’t know how that is possible. I mean, I lived there, but I have never had service under my name. Obviously, this is fraud.” 

Me: “So, what you are saying is that somebody stole your personal info to fraudulently start service at an address where you were actually living before your wife had service there and then did it again after your wife’s account ended?”

Customer: “Yes, I think this is what has happened.”

Me: “The only way to dispute these accounts is to file a police report about your identity being stolen and fill out a fraud packet to start an investigation.”

(This usually stops the nonsense dead because nobody wants to file a false police report. Well, they have actually done this and been arrested on the spot, but I digress.)

Customer: “This is not fair. I have never had service under my name. What am I supposed to do?”

Me: “You need to be able to prove you weren’t living at an address you have already admitted that you lived in on a recorded line. “

Customer: “How much do I have to pay?”

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