SAN ANTONIO - Imagine a total stranger walking around with a brand new iphone, racking up data charges, and you have to pay for all of it. That's what happened to a San Antonio woman who appears to be the victim of a new kind of identity fraud.
An identity thief just walked into a local store, picked out a new iphone and cell phone number and added it on to the woman's account. After she discovered the activity, the victim was told if she wanted to cancel the unauthorized line, she'd have to pay a $350 termination fee.
“It's really frustrating. They're walking around with a newer phone than I have and I paid for it,” says Solitaire Morales. She received her cell phone bill the other day and immediately noticed someone had added a new iphone and additional line to her account.
Solitaire was on the hook for about $70 in monthly charges, on a two year contract, that somebody signed up for a month ago, at a Best Buy store, far away from her home near Lackland.
“I found out it was purchased in person at the Best Buy at La Cantera, and the Sprint fraud representative told me that the people do not need to present my I.D., they only need my PIN code. They asked me if I had given my PIN code to anyone. I told them I hadn't,” Solitaire says.
Solitaire claims she was told the man even gave a name that didn't match hers, but still was allowed to make the transaction.
“I think they should require me in person with my I.D., or something like that.”
After the Trouble Shooters contacted Sprint they cancelled the unauthorized line without charging Solitaire a termination fee. They also told her they're removing the fraudulent charges as well.
However, they wouldn't tell us how the I.D. thief got access to her account.
Sprint told us the thief couldn't have accessed her account with just a PIN number, that a phone number or account number is also needed.
Best Buy says its policy is to check I.D., and that only the person named on the account can make changes to it. Best Buys says it is still investigating whether that was done in this case.
So, it's something you might want to check with your provider: what security information do they require before allowing someone else to add charges to your account?