Fraudsters took out handset in pensioner’s name but operator passed debt onto collections agency despite admitting it was fraud
A female pensioner was left “stressed and concerned” with Vodafone after a fraudulent smartphone delivery saw her facing down debt collectors over a bill of hundreds of pounds.
It all started when a parcel was delivered to 70 year-old Muriel George’s home in Dartford in January. Within minutes of the delivery, she received a phone call from the “couriers” informing her a mistake had been made and someone would come to pick it up the handset.
However, when Ms George received a bill for the monthly tariff of £57, she realised something was amiss. She called Vodafone who confirmed the fraud, which used her name, address and phone number, but the demands for payment kept on arriving.
Eventually a debt collection agency got involved with a demand for the tariff and additional charges which totalled £317.
“It’s all been logged, we’ve got letters from Vodafone saying its fraud, but they are computer generated letters and somebody is not closing it out,” her son Derrick told Mobile News.
“We spoke to a manager and they have said this is out of our hands now and a debt collection agency has taken over.”
Following Mobile News’ intervention, the debt has now been cancelled by Vodafone.
A spokesperson for the operator said: “It’s clear that Mrs George has been the victim of fraud. We’ve cancelled the account and we’ll make sure there are no further communications from the collections agency. We’ll also ensure that this has no effect on Mrs George’s credit file.”