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AT&T holding me to an account that was identity fraud


Been_Ponzied
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About 4 years ago, I lived in Nevada and my ex husband got telephone and DSL service in my name. I kept telling SBC that I didn't order it but they didn't verify back then and they didn't care about identity theft back then, and he cancelled it, and I have been charged over $400 for his actions.

They told me they sold it to a collection agency, but now they say it's with Corporate Investigations. They say they want a police report. I am not doing a police report against my ex husband or he will kill me. Besides, he helps with little things now, like fixing my vacum cleaner and I'm not going after him for AT&T.

I have tried the PUC in BOTH states (I moved to CA 2 years ago). The PUC was on AT&Ts side both times! I tried the attorney general. They were no help at all. They just parroted AT&T West, which is where my account is now. It's probably even been re-aged, but I don't see it on my CRs.

My phone, TV, and internet is in someone else's name. They found out because they verify ID now, all of a sudden, and are thinking of cancelling all. In the meantime, my phone number now in their system goes right to representatives who refuse to do anything for me. I asked what this is called in the call center, as they abuse me now when I call, but they won't admit that my number goes to abusive reps on purpose. They have lied over and over to me.

I want to sue them for Statute of Limitations if I can. I don't owe this bill and if I lose my TV, phone, and internet over it, I am in big trouble. I can't sue my Ex....need to be on good terms with him for right now.

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How can you sue them for "statute of limitations"? CA has no Statue of repose, which means they can try and collect from you forever.

Realistically, if your EX got services in your name - and you won't report it as ID theft, then you're really between a rock and a hard place.

I don't really see much you can do, if you don't want to file the ID theft affadavit.

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How can you sue them for "statute of limitations"? CA has no Statue of repose, which means they can try and collect from you forever.

Realistically, if your EX got services in your name - and you won't report it as ID theft, then you're really between a rock and a hard place.

I don't really see much you can do, if you don't want to file the ID theft affadavit.

Do you have to report who you believe was the perpatrator of alleged ID theft or just that you belive it has happened? I don't think you have to implicate your EX just that you beleive you ID has been compromised.

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The reality is, you do owe the bill if the service was opened in you name using your ID information and you are unwilling to file a police report/file charges.

Frankly, if you knew your then husband/now ex-husband did this and you were unwilling to file charges at the time then you effectively gave him permission to do what he did (and make yourself liable for the account)…it might well be too late to file charges now.

If you don’t file the police report (assuming you still can) then you will either have to pay the bill or live with the consequences of not paying.

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Do you have to report who you believe was the perpatrator of alleged ID theft or just that you belive it has happened? I don't think you have to implicate your EX just that you beleive you ID has been compromised.

If they ask and you lie I believe that is a fellony all by itself in most states...lying to a law enforcement officer is never a good idea.

Far better for her not file the poilce report at all and pay the bill than to lie to the police.

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If they ask and you lie I believe that is a fellony all by itself in most states...lying to a law enforcement officer is never a good idea.

Far better for her not file the poilce report at all and pay the bill than to lie to the police.

You're right Robert and I would never recommend that anyone perjure themselves. I was just unsure when filing ID theft affadavits and reports if anyone had to be named.

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Well, I spoke to a Sheriff about this and he said he would not file a report because it's "civil matter," "not a criminal matter." They tend to say that a lot here. The cops hate paperwork in CA. Back in Nevada, all I would have had to do was walk in the police dept and they hand you a paper. Not here!

What does a corporation call it when they route your calls automatically to reps who FEIGN IGNORANCE about everything? And they also FEIGN IGNORANCE about FEIGNING IGORANCE. They also have abused me by playing all kinds of tricks on me when I try to get answers out of them. Which is bullying. Since bullying is interpersonal violence, would these actions constitute a civil rights violation?

Does anyone know what the secret command is for them to do that to your phone number?

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Give the bill to your ex. He owes it, if he is any kind of man, he pays it.

He got the service in your name, if it was done without your consent, he essentially stole from you; and you don't want to do a police report? I don't know the situation you are in, but do you really need someone that steals from you?

Just MHO, he sounds like he has some control issues, and no one needs someone like that in their lives. Present him with the bill, tell him to pay it and if he doesn't you will have to file the report to protect yourself.

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I agree. I don't think its a civil matter if you guys were divorced, but that's another matter. However, at&t is not going to excuse the debt just because someone "says" was fraud involved and/or they didn't know about it at the time. If they did, everyone would use that excuse. In their eyes, they don't see why you won't file the affidavit - like Robert said, filing a report make s the issue "legitimate" in the eyes of at&t and law. Making a false statement to a Peace Officer is a felony in most states that I am aware of, and willfully failing to mention that you know who the suspect would get the goose of most investigators/officers. They will ask.

If you are not willing to take further action, it sounds like you're stuck with this problem. Don't expect at&t to eat 400 dollars on someone's word. It's going to require action on your part, they've told you what they expect. It sounds like to ball is in your court. If you don't or can't file against your ex, that may be the end of it.

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The PUC, CRA's, CA's, AG's office, BBB and everyone else involved will DEFINITELY 'be on their side' until and unless you send the proper documentation removing your liability, as they should be. The list can be found in the FCRA Title 15 USC 1681c-2, subsection 605B. The definition of, and reason for, a proper ID Theft report can be found in 1681a, subsection 603(q). There is a sticky at the top of this page. You need to read those passages. They provide additional information and alternatives to lazy local police.

If you are unwilling, for whatever reason, to take the required actions to exercise your rights under existing laws, then accept the consequences, which is full liability with all it entails.

This is really quite easy. Makes me shake my head when I see people making it more difficult than it has to be. Make a proper report (no, you don't have to name the perpetrator unless specifically asked and you can figure out a way to avoid that going in), send it along with all the other required things to the CA's, CRA's and anyone else you need to...Voila! problem solved.

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First off, you need to read all of our sticky on California law at top of this page. Most everything you need is in there. Be sure and go to the website offered in the second post. The URL is not working, so just enter into your box. It is a summary of the state FDCPA supplied by the CDCA and is how this state interprets and acts on the statute. Around Article 1.9, you will read how the OC is held liable under the Rosenthal, and, at 2.6, page 14, you will read how the relationship with federal FDCPA 807(2)(A). Read the referenced footnote and you will find it is illegal and a violation to even attempt collection of a debt too old to be enforced.

As to the comment about an SOL here, that is incorrect. If the claim is true that this debt was incurred over 4 years ago, it is timebarred. They have no legal recourse to the debt. You would cite Kimber v Federal Financial, if necessary. The only way the SOL can be is if the OC asks for it to be tolled in court, or, if you return to Nevada and take up residence. Even under the "full faith and credit" allowed by most states, the SOL in Nevada is the same and the debt is also timebarred there.

BUT, do realize that the OC may withhold service for eternity or until debt is paid, then, demand a large deposit until proof of responsibility is proven. At times a utility like this will accept a payment option, including deposits, etc, while others want it all up front. Yes, there is a moral obligation to this debt. Yes, they may send periodical letters "asking" for payment, but, as long as they do not threaten, they are legal.

As to the comment about the ID theft, that is true. Unless there is a Police report on this, they are under no obligation to even consider the claim. And, of course, do not lie about any of it. If it is true that your ex did this without your permission, and the two of you are "working together", it would be in his best interest, as others stated, to step up and resolve this matter, including his writing a letter admitting to opening without your permission, as well as an apology for the inconvenience, etc., to all involved parties. The goal here is to show definite proof of your not knowing. In short, the two of you sit down and get this done.

For all of you "Doubtin" Dudley's" who want to argue with me on this SOL matter, know this. I spent over 20 years in Nevada, both Reno and Vegas, working in the Gaming Industry. When I began my repair, and joined here, it was due to medical bills from Nevada. I used all statutes from both Nevada and California on this, and, as the older members know, I won. And, above all, never had to go to court as the laws worked. Our reason for not going to court is it was not worth the effort in monetary gains, plus, our health insurance, Tricare (Military, US Government paid), became involved and nailed the OC's on their actions, including sanctions, while, the CA got "spanked" by their state agency.

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I gave him the bill and he said "when he has the money" he'll pay it.

Meanwhile, AT&T cut off my newly ordered internet dialup today. After 4 hours and 18 calls, all of which were FEIGNING IGNORANCE, the tech support says there "is no record of my internet account" even though I have been using it for about 5 days. They say my phone number "does not exist." But it works!

When I call Customer Service, 1-800-ATT-2020, they put me on hold and then it hangs up. I call through the Operator "O" then. Customer service does the same thing to me; lies, transfers me to "high speed internet tech support" (which they know I don't have), the reps transpose my number over and over and over.

This is all obvious harrassment; conducted today probably because the PUC is closed due to the Martin Luther King holiday.

So, AT&T will not talk to me about the old account. Instead, they have been given the command to harrass, harrass, frustrate me, and make me spend ALL DAY calling and trying to find out why my account has disappeared. NO one will tell me ANYTHING.

How do they truly get away with this harrassment? I really messed up by moving to an area where they are the Monopoly. Have no competition. I cant' even get DSL out here in the boonies, so that I could run another telephone VOIP off that.

How is it that a company is allowed to do this to a customer over and over for an entire week of being on the phone ALL day 8-5?

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I don’t mean to insult but I'm having a difficult time believing that the 27th largest company in the country with tens of thousands of employees and $63Billion in annual revenue is conducting a coordinated attack of harassment on one customer with a $400 bill.

I’m not saying you aren’t experiencing the difficulties you describe but I think it’s quite a leap to conclude that AT&T is out to get you.

Whatever the cause, nothing is going to change, as far as the basic problem goes, until either the account is paid or they have an affidavit of fraud/police report.

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I have something to add to this nightmare. When we still lived in Reno, through Nevada Bell, we somehow got switched to AT&T for long distance. Though we never ordered it, nor authorized it, we never bothered with it when it showed up as our bill was always paid properly and no "bad" charges appeared. In short why change what is working properly. Yes, the long distance was cheaper. About a year after we moved back down to Southern California, we began receiving bills from AT&T. They got our address from NB as we had supplied it for receipt of our final bill. OK, no problem, just a simple error. WRONG!!!!!

Each time I called, connected to a rep, who, in turn, apologized, claimed all was done, no more problems, blah, blah. Next month here is a new bill. It took over 6 months to finally resolve this matter. I had to flat out get nasty and unload totally. End result is they never took our name off of the phone number, so, all of new customer's calls were being billed to us. Have always wondered what they said when they received a "larger' bill. HEH HEH!!

Today, AT&T knows better than to send me even a generic mailer. I am also on their list of do not talk to. Yep, they don't like me.

As to this situation, I would go online and find AT&T's main office number, or, call the toll free and ask for it. Be nice, and, if asked why, simply say you have some concerns that you feel need to be addressed there as the reps at the toll free can't resolve. Most likely, you will reach a secretary or operator. Ask for the biggest boss in the building, no one else will do. Be polite, precise, and very professional and simply explain the problem. Be sure and have your notes handy so you may clearly demonstrate your concerns are legit, plus, assure this person knows how their reps are failing. Name names, dates, times, and main points of conversation. Hopefully, this will get you some answers. AND, if this person is professional and caring, even offer to allow them to add "X" amount each month to your current bill to satisfy this other matter. Let them know exactly what happened, include as to you and your EX "working together", but, immediate funds are not availalbe at this time due to property settlement, or whatever. You get the drift.

To add, and to let you know this action can work, when we moved into our current home, I called Verizon to change our service, including DSL. We were allowed to keep our number, which made it easy for us. The rep said it would be just a couple days and all, including our DSL, would be up and going. WRONG!!! They automatically cancel DSL and must send new equipment, and go through the whole process again. I got mad. Got the main number, went off, and got a wonderful woman boss. Though it still took more time than I wanted, and I still complained about, the end result is she credited our account for a full year of DSL free, as well as an apology, plus, created a program to assure all reps know and properly explain this to future changes of location.

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...

Not to throw a wrench into your advice because I agree, most if it is quite good. However, I don’t see how talking to anyone at AT&T is really going to resolve the basic issue.

I realize that the OP doesn’t agree with this but the basic issue, of course, is that the OP owes AT&T for prior service and until that is resolved, either by paying the bill or by filing an ID theft report with the police, I don’t think talking to AT&T is going to accomplish much.

Even if they agree to “wait” for resolution of old account, I suspect AT&T is going to require some hefty deposits before opening/continuing current service.

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The online FTC affidavit you fill out is not a police report, you would not be perjuring yourself to fill it out and simply leave the "do you know who did it?" section blank, as it's optional anyway.

Not all creditors will even take that affidavit, and they don't have to accept it, but I can't see how it would hurt to send it to them.

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Robert,

I have found over the past many years, including since joining this site, that more times than anyone likes to claim, "representatives", when allowed to deal with the public, especially for a late bill, and everyday customer service, feel they are above the consumer and actually work outside of company policy. And, the only way to find out if this is, in fact, true, is to assure the "powers that be" are informed. Then, if no proper action is taken, you know beyond all doubt the overall attitude of the business you are dealing with. If proper action is taken, you know otherwise.

As you know, I was in upper management in casinos in Nevada. All of it in slots. The last "big" property I was at, the owner, when he came in each morning, looked for me, before he even went upstairs to sit down with Director to get the numbers (I usually already knew them). Why is because he knew I would always tell him the truth, no matter how good or bad it was. As anyone with common sense knows, many in society who enter a casino automatically assume they are going to get shafted. It's an "Old Wives Tale". Over and above my normal duties, I would talk to people, asking how they felt or was there anything they liked, disliked, etc. Too many felt that why should they tell anyone when nothing is done. I found that they only talked to someone on the floor, not upstairs. I encouraged them to write to the bosses, usually the General Manager or Casino Manager, or, even the owner. You cannot believe the difference that made in many ways in changing the attitude and continued business of people. They knew they were appreciated because we told them so with our responses and actions to their concerns.

Go through my posts about a month ago. It is a perfect example. You'll find a thread I posted on regarding a lady who was driven to tears by her lender. I called the lender, got a phone number for a boss, and, end result, it was found that other complaints had been filed on this same employee. Plus, this lady is now relieved as her lender has now assisted her in this matter. All it took was connecting to the right part of management.

As to the OP, my thought is since by filing a claim for ID theft on the EX, it would serve no real purpose in resolving. But, to act as I noted, it shows AT&T the desire to resolve in a very expedient manner, where both sides receive satisfaction. Plus, it shows AT&T they lack in their customer service, and, since this is a consumer, and the approximate numbers now are 10 unhappy consumers tell friends and all of the experience, it should at least raise an eyebrow, if not allow a very expedient end to this mess. In regards to your comment about deposit, it is very true, but, again, if the OP, with the input from her EX, could possibly not have to pay one as she was not aware of her EX's actions. You never know if you don't ask, or properly address the whole matter. The sad part is that if AT&T can file against the EX, there is nothing the OP can do.

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[quote name=

What does a corporation call it when they route your calls automatically to reps who FEIGN IGNORANCE about everything? And they also FEIGN IGNORANCE about FEIGNING IGORANCE. They also have abused me by playing all kinds of tricks on me when I try to get answers out of them. Which is bullying. Since bullying is interpersonal violence, would these actions constitute a civil rights violation?

I know you are frustrated, but what are you trying to accomplish here??!!! Give the bill to your ex and tell him to pay it or you will file a small claims suit against him. The last time I had to have my vacuum cleaner fixed, it cost $67 (if you're not following thread, OP indicated that she doesn't want to cause trouble for her ex, because he does "little things" like "fix her vacuum.") Assume responsibility for yourself and your affairs, and force him to do the same!

Get over it and make the man be a man! Why would you get yourself involved in a so-called "civil rights violation" lawsuit for poorly handled phone calls when the solution to this problem is SIMPLE???

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