Questions of Cash: Fraudster stole my identity and then rang up a £383 phone debt for me

 

Q. I have received a letter from Lowell Financial claiming that I owe them £383.86. This was a debt that Lowell bought from the mobile phone company O2. The letter indicated that I had received a notification from O2 stating "you were recently informed that your 02 (UK) Ltd account was sold to Lowell Portfolio 1 Ltd because there is an outstanding debt.".

There was no such notification from either O2 or Lowell and no such debt is owed by me. This appears to be a calamitous case of mistaken identity. The letter from Lowell appears to list an O2 account number which is not mine. I have written to both O2 and Lowell Financial, but have yet to receive a reply despite the urgency - I am being threatened with court action in a few days to reclaim the debt. I am also concerned that my credit rating will be compromised. MA, London.

A. You are correct that this is a case of mistaken identity, which seems to have originated from several frauds committed using your identity. O2 sold to Lowell the debt for another customer with an identical name, but did not provide Lowell with your address details, nor did it link that other account with you. However, when Lowell checked your credit reference with Experian it found a linkage between your address and that of the other person of your name. It seems that your name was used fraudulently in 2008, with your current address quoted as a former address in loan applications to two lenders.

In total, there appear to be eight loans issued in your name, without your knowledge or approval, on which there are lodged defaults. In addition, the O2 debt sold to Lowells presumably used the same current address as those used on loans in default. It is therefore understandable that Lowells sought recovery of this other O2 debt from you. Experian has now corrected your credit reference and shared this correction with the other credit reference agencies, Equifax and Call Credit. This means that there should be no further attempts at collecting this fraudster's debts from you, nor should your credit reference be adversely affected. Experian requests that you work with its "Victims of Fraud" team to investigate further and correct the records held with various companies in which your name was used fraudulently.

WE'VE SCORED A BULLSEYE TO TRACK DOWN BLUE ARROW

Q. I You responded to a reader (Questions of Cash, 29 November, 2013) who had been contacted by Stern Levenson offering to connect him to some lost investments. The reader mentioned he had various old shareholdings, which included Blue Arrow. You reported that Blue Arrow was subsequently bought by Manpower. We bought 1,305 Blue Arrow shares in 1988. Over the past five years Stern Levenson has periodically contacted us about "an unclaimed entitlement as a result of a shareholding", valued at £3,800. I have tried myself to track down Blue Arrow and Manpower, but without success. Can you help? DH, Wirral.

A. The share registrar for Blue Arrow was Lloyds, whose business was transferred to Equiniti. Equiniti told us Blue Arrow became Manpower in April 1990 and this company was acquired by the US company Manpower Inc in May 1991. Manpower Inc is now the ManpowerGroup, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. According to the company's website, shareholders with queries should phone +1 201-680-6578. We did this and were told that the registrar for ManpowerGroup's shares is ComputerShare. It can be contacted at Computershare Investor Services, PO Box 43078, Providence, RI 02940-3078, US. You should then be able to get an updated share certificate and decide what to do with your holdings.

A LAWSUIT IS ONLY SOLUTION FOR YOUR LOST SUITCASES

Q. In December 2012 my cousin and I flew from New York to Cambodia, via Tokyo and Singapore, with Delta Airlines and Silk Air, Singapore Airlines' regional carrier. On one leg three of our suitcases were lost. Under the Montreal Convention, the last carrier – Silk Air – is responsible for compensation to a maximum of $1,131 per person. We completed our claim forms, but SilkAir will only offer $400 for my cousin and $200 for myself. AC, by email.

A. We resent giving up on a case, but we are stumped. Silk Air ignored our correspondence, but we eventually obtained responses via Singapore Airlines. Silk Air said it has no proof your bags were not collected and it also requires copies of bills for all items lost – a request that we (and you) regard as impractical. Very unwisely you did not take out travel insurance, but we hoped Delta Airlines might assist, despite having no legal responsibility, but it did not reply to our correspondence. We also sought help from the Civil Aviation Authority, but it was unable to assist as you do not currently reside in the UK. We seem to be beaten. Your only avenue appears to be to sue Silk Air.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

    Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

    Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

    UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape