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Identity fraudsters set up eight phone contracts in Lincolnshire victim's name

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 19, 2012

Victim: Damian Wilkinson

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A victim of identity theft is warning people to be vigilant after eight mobile phone contracts were set up in his name.

Businessman Damian Wilkinson, 26, first smelled a rat in July when he received a letter from Orange confirming arrangements for direct debit payments.

In total, 30 different letters from various phone companies were sent to his address in Wragby.

The accounts have now been closed after he contacted the suppliers.

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But despite assurances by telephone, Mr Wilkinson last month received a letter from Vodafone which threatened bailiff action unless a £554.74 outstanding bill in his name was paid.

Mr Wilkinson, who runs Belas (Sporting Equipment) Ltd, in Mablethorpe, said accounts had apparently been set up in his name at branches of Carphone Warehouse, in Canterbury and Ashford, both in Kent.

"To a point I'm thinking: 'Why me?'," said Mr Wilkinson, of Louth Road, Wragby.

"But this sort of crime is said to be something of a faceless crime. It's not specifically targeted – people go around and find names and addresses to use so it's pot luck.

"What happens is the people committing the fraud find it harder and harder to get credit on the account in your name so they move on to the next person.

"My advice is just to protect your identity as much as possible.

"It's really important to check what's coming through the post and if identity theft does happen to you, don't despair. You can always contact the companies in question and the Action Fraud helpline.

"I can deal with it because I'm used to dealing with difficulties in business.

"But this could be a right nightmare for people who are not au fait with what they should do."

Vodafone spokesman Jane Frapwell said the matter for the outstanding demand in Mr Wilkinson's name is under investigation.

"We're still looking into this but general advice would be to make sure you keep all personal information to yourself," she said.

"It's also a good idea to invest in a shredder to dispose of any documents that include personal info."

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