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Topic # 248365 22-Mar-2019 15:46
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Wasn't sure what forum to put this under...

 

Anyway my tenant  she likes to talk to strangers on the internet (she is retired and a bit lonely) as she has been scammed prior to moving in under us and some of the stories she tells me about her "boyfriends" makes me shake my head and I've told her she needs to be real careful about giving out her addresses and personal details to people she doesn't know. She also keeps having her facebook account locked due to suspicious activity and strange log in locations.

 

So earlier in the week she received an overdue account bill from Spark for a plan that had been setup two months ago to purchase a new Iphone X on 24 months interest free. This had her name and address on (she lives in our granny flat) but it is not her phone number. This rang alarm bells for me straight away due to the above and I told her to go see Spark ASAP. 

 

My Fiancee and her went into the Spark shop where they were told to call the call centre where they found that the account had been fraudulently set up as drivers license and passport details had been provided. They told them to email their fraud team and essentially the responsibility was on us to prove this was fraud.

 

They didn't like the sound of this so spent two hours at the Police Station filling in an incident report where the Cops told us the Telcos were lazy and they should follow it up and that we may need to cancel drivers license and the passport, but to request to see what information had been provided to Spark to open the account first.

 

So I'm hoping that someone maybe able to tell me what regulations Spark should have followed in setting up the account to prove the person was who they said they were and also if anyone has been in the same position and how you resolved it?

 

We are a little stressed as we don't want Debt Collectors showing and start repossessing our possessions!

 

Thanks!


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  Reply # 2203538 22-Mar-2019 18:17
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I'm not going to give anything that could be construed as legal advice and you should be (as it sounds you are!) careful about taking advice here related to it. Spark has a complaints policy here:

 

https://www.spark.co.nz/help/other/terms/policies/complaintspolicy/

 

 

 

Cheers - N

 

 




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  Reply # 2203541 22-Mar-2019 18:28
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We haven't taken legal advice and I don't think we should have to spend our own money given Spark opened an account based on fraudulent information.

Was just wondering if anyone had similar experiences and how they were resolved.

Since you're with Spark, surely there is a way the phone can be tracked either through last known GPS data or the imei number?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2203543 22-Mar-2019 18:33
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golfpunk111: We haven't taken legal advice and I don't think we should have to spend our own money given Spark opened an account based on fraudulent information.

Was just wondering if anyone had similar experiences and how they were resolved.

Since you're with Spark, surely there is a way the phone can be tracked either through last known GPS data or the imei number?

 

That specific activity will only be done as a result of a proper law enforcement request. You should contact spark through the contacts on the complaints page. There is no need to take legal advice before doing so. The VAST majority of issues are resolved before even the TDR gets involved, let alone lawyers.

 

I am a techie on the fixed (not mobile) network side. I know nothing about the business rules or processes around signing up users. In addition to that, no Spark reps on here will be able to help in a specific instance without properly verifying the identify of the caller matches the account to be discussed.  (Yes I realise the irony of that statement given the potential issue here!).

 

I promise you will have more luck getting any issues sorted speaking to Spark than asking here.

 

Cheers - N

 

 


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  Reply # 2203544 22-Mar-2019 18:34
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https://store.spark.co.nz/forms/s/complaints

 

Have the account holder reach out using this form to discuss this topic.

 

 

 

All of the Spark folk on here are technical, which isn't the support your hunting for. As with Talkiet, I'm not about to comment on the legalities.





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




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  Reply # 2203547 22-Mar-2019 18:39
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That's fine I'm not looking for support or legal advice just people's experiences with similar type of situations.

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  Reply # 2203632 22-Mar-2019 21:52
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It happened to me with an ex girlfriend about 10 years ago shortly after turning 18. Was quite an ordeal to sort out - she opened a credit card in my name. Anyhow the things that I learned are

 

1) Download a call recorder app on your phone and record each call with spark in mp3 format. 

 

If you spend any more than 5 minutes on hold, email their complaints dept as others have mentioned. You shouldnt be going out of your way to resolve this. A recording of hold music shows you made a good effort to help spark above and beyond what is expected of you. 

 

2) Call spark's accounts department and when starting the conversation you need to inform the representative that the call is being recorded and you appreciate them waiting while you state the following before you start the conversation: 
"The account we are about to discuss is being disputed and will not be paid" and
"At no point do I give you any authorization to pass my private and confidential contact information on to any external party including debt collectors"

 


No debt collector would touch it if you have a "disputed" account note after what happened with Orcon and the fine they got. 
It also puts them on the hook for a human rights (privacy) violation if they do pass you to a debt collector. 

 

After stating those two items you can then ask the representative to look up the account number. 

 

3) Politely inform them that they have been defrauded and spark may wish to file a police report. (They were defrauded, not you). Try to be friendly after the formalities are done and say you would be keen to find out what credit checking company that spark uses to verify the identity. Some companies communicate directly with land transport to verify a drivers license while others will use a credit checking agency. 
It would be good to check what else spark used to verify the identify of the fraudster before opening the account so that you can get that information changed or updated too so a future credit or identity check using the same information will fail. 

 

4) Also mention that it is their responsibility to sort out, not yours as you are not their customer. At no point will you be putting in effort to resolve the issue beyond a phone call with spark. 

 

5) File a police report yourself for identity theft. 

 

6) Start running credit checks on yourself every 3 months. 
Its a good habit. I recently invested in harmoney - they logged it against my credit report as a $1000 loan when they only were verifying my identity for the IRD which was false information and bought down my credit score. So I had to then inform the credit reporting agency that they were reporting false information. Two of those agencies have now updated their query reason options. 

 

There are 3 agencies in NZ - see google

 

The free reports will also show you things where the fraudster has also applied for credit in your name. Lookups are bad for your score, even if they were declined credit. 

 

7) Inform the reporting agencies that you have been the victim of identity theft and wish to lock your credit report to prevent further lookups. Companies looking to issue credit will either decline it or request more to verify the identity. 

 

8) I cant remember if i was able to do it in the end but i also attempted to change my drivers license number. I lost my physical license around the same time and so i requested a new one which may have only changed the version number but it achieved the same thing. 

 

 

 

The key thing to remember is spark was defrauded, not you. You are still a victim of identity theft but its important that spark doesnt get to place any burden on you or your friend as I can see this becoming a burden on your time quite easily. 

 

 





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  Reply # 2203654 22-Mar-2019 22:30
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raytaylor:

 

[snipped a novel]

 

 

Snipped a big reply I had written... Instead, I recommend calling and asking for help in a reasonable tone.

 

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 2203694 22-Mar-2019 22:53
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Talkiet:

raytaylor:


[snipped a novel]



Snipped a big reply I had written... Instead, I recommend calling and asking for help in a reasonable tone.


Cheers - N


To be fair they did try that already.

It's probably not the most constructive approach but if you get fobbed off the first time it can be frustrating for everyone.



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  Reply # 2203695 22-Mar-2019 22:56
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Thanks all, very helpful and gives us an idea of where to go and how to approach this.

I have no intention of being unreasonable at this stage (unless I come across the scum that defrauded our tenant). As long as Spark do their bit, are reasonable and do not come after us as an 'easy' target to recoup costs. Then I am more than happy to be friendly and cooperate with anything they need from us. There were a couple of inconsistencies in the information they provided and also divulged the first attempt to set up the account had failed, but were successful on the second attempt.

Unfortunately Spark did not give a good first response and treated us almost like we were the perpetrator, hopefully they correct this now that we have filed a Police report and formalised our position in an email. Will wait and see.


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  Reply # 2203697 22-Mar-2019 22:58
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raytaylor:

 

6) Start running credit checks on yourself every 3 months. 
Its a good habit. I recently invested in harmoney - they logged it against my credit report as a $1000 loan when they only were verifying my identity for the IRD which was false information and bought down my credit score. So I had to then inform the credit reporting agency that they were reporting false information. Two of those agencies have now updated their query reason options. 

 

 

@raytaylor

 

That is shocking but not surprising. I would advise everyone to avoid Harmoney.

 

Which CRA was this done with?





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  Reply # 2203725 23-Mar-2019 08:30
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It seems to me your tenant needs to be more careful. This problem all stems from her silly naive actions.

This may seem a bit harsh but to some extent you cannot expect Spark to solve other people's problems caused by their silly actions. It's not Sparks fault this has happened.




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  Reply # 2203729 23-Mar-2019 09:06
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Technofreak: It seems to me your tenant needs to be more careful. This problem all stems from her silly naive actions.

This may seem a bit harsh but to some extent you cannot expect Spark to solve other people's problems caused by their silly actions. It's not Sparks fault this has happened.


The tenant is definitely naive but she hadn't committed fraud or stolen anything from anyone.

Spark entered into a contract with a fraudster using someone elses personal information. At that point it is Sparks problem as their systems failed.

The fault is with the fraudster.

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  Reply # 2203743 23-Mar-2019 09:37
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Handle9:
Technofreak: It seems to me your tenant needs to be more careful. This problem all stems from her silly naive actions.

This may seem a bit harsh but to some extent you cannot expect Spark to solve other people's problems caused by their silly actions. It's not Sparks fault this has happened.


The tenant is definitely naive but she hadn't committed fraud or stolen anything from anyone.

Spark entered into a contract with a fraudster using someone elses personal information. At that point it is Sparks problem as their systems failed.

The fault is with the fraudster.

 

I can't comment on the specific case as I don't know the details, and it would be inappropriate for me to know the details however your argument there doesn't necessarily hold up to logic.

 

I'll use a completely different example.

 

Say some bad person socially engineered a lot of personal details out of someone, including secret information they would be required to keep secret, and then managed to use those personal details to let's say, make a transfer over phone banking and then withdraw the cash?

 

In the case where any business/bank/party was able to have all information and validation requirements met by a bad person portraying themselves as the legitimate first party, what culpability would there be on the bank/business/party in that case. (I am NOT saying that's what necessarily happened here, it's just an example)

 

So if a bad person stole, or was given enough personal and/or secret information to successfully pass the requirements to gain credit/good etc with a company, who's at fault?

 

Cheers - N

 

 


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  Reply # 2203747 23-Mar-2019 09:45
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Talkiet:

Handle9:
Technofreak: It seems to me your tenant needs to be more careful. This problem all stems from her silly naive actions.

This may seem a bit harsh but to some extent you cannot expect Spark to solve other people's problems caused by their silly actions. It's not Sparks fault this has happened.


The tenant is definitely naive but she hadn't committed fraud or stolen anything from anyone.

Spark entered into a contract with a fraudster using someone elses personal information. At that point it is Sparks problem as their systems failed.

The fault is with the fraudster.


I can't comment on the specific case as I don't know the details, and it would be inappropriate for me to know the details however your argument there doesn't necessarily hold up to logic.


I'll use a completely different example.


Say some bad person socially engineered a lot of personal details out of someone, including secret information they would be required to keep secret, and then managed to use those personal details to let's say, make a transfer over phone banking and then withdraw the cash?


In the case where any business/bank/party was able to have all information and validation requirements met by a bad person portraying themselves as the legitimate first party, what culpability would there be on the bank/business/party in that case. (I am NOT saying that's what necessarily happened here, it's just an example)


So if a bad person stole, or was given enough personal and/or secret information to successfully pass the requirements to gain credit/good etc with a company, who's at fault?


Cheers - N


 



IMO fault always lies with the bad person. I'm not a lawyer but the party who has been defrauded would be the bank/business party so it's their problem to recover their loss.

The person who's identity has been used hasn't done any direct or willful act that caused the loss. Definitely careless and naive but not legally liable IMO.



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  Reply # 2203760 23-Mar-2019 10:25
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According to the police the company that is defrauded is the victim and the person who has had their identity stolen is the informant.

The Police were quite clear the onus was on Spark to resolve not the person who identity was stolen. Spark have checks and balances to prevent fraud, same as banks. If these fail it is their responsibility, they also have insurance for this. Spark accepts there is a risk in the ease of serring up an account.

Another example the police used was paywave banks accept their is a risk, but seems the public convenience to be of more importance. Therefore if some one steals your cars the bank will investigate with Police and reimburse you.

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