Fin24 users angry, frustrated over ID theft

Cape Town - South Africans who have been victims of identity fraud have shared their stories.

Fin24 recently reported that identity theft is becoming easier and it is one of the fastest growing crimes in the digital era.

And feedback from Fin24 users suggest that local criminals have started to actively exploit the potential of stolen IDs.

"My identity book was stolen as well as my wallet and bank cards. In June this year I received a call from Cell C in Eastgate asking if I had taken out a cell phone contract. When I said that I had not taken a contract out they said they would investigate the matter," wrote Caslin Frazenburg.

"Then I contacted Transunion only to find out that two more contracts were taken out: One with Vodacom and the other with Telkom and all three contracts were taken out with my stolen identity document.

"I have been struggling for the past four weeks to find out answers but have not yet received a reply from all three networks telling me that they would contact me to inform me what is happening with the investigations," Frazenburg fumed.

ID fraud evidence

Thieves also appear to be able to use stolen IDs to open loan accounts fraudulently.

"I lost my green ID book in 2009 and soon after realising it had gone missing, went to home affairs and did a new one, with the same ID number and name," wrote Fin24 user Phillip Ndoda.

"I moved to Johannesburg in early 2014 and learnt that I had taken out a loan with Blue bank and also learned I suddenly had a Capitec bank account when I'd never opened one."

Ndoda was able to see evidence that the ID was compromised.

"Capitec had been a great help in showing me the picture of the guy who stole my identity. He resides in Cape Town too, and looks foreign. I am now in the process of tracking him down together with Transunion's fraud unit. I am even afraid to check if he hasn't opened many other accounts in my name."

Frustration

Livhu Ngwekhulu insisted that though the ID was never lost, cellphone contracts were opened with Autopage Cellular which was recently wound up.

"After some six months of calls to Autopage with no help, and some third parties trying to deduct outstanding fees from my account as instructed by Autopage and a soiled credit report, I went to their head office and was given a letter indicating the account was fraudulent.

"However, the bills have not stopped coming, surprisingly, to an email that I had to give them as they didn't have my email for a start, now it is being used to harass me," wrote Ngwekhulu.

Ngwekhulu expressed the frustration experienced by many victims of identity fraud.

"In the end, someone out there has my details and the company is still investigating, six months on. These people recently tried opening another loan account with some small loan companies, had another loan stopped at a top bank at the eleventh hour and had an account at a clothing store declined. Heaven knows when they will stop."

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