Money problems: “my o2 account was hacked – now i have to pay £920”

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We present their stories and offer help and tips on how to address them – regardless of the topic.

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"Fraudsters have opened two o2 accounts in my name – and now i have to pay the bill"

In december, reader rob prowse received a series of letters from O2 informing him of his "new o2 accounts". ( image: newsampix)

NEWSAM reader rob prowse got in touch this week about a dispute he'd had with O2 for more than a month.

The reader said it all started in december when he received a series of letters from the telecom giant "welcoming" him to his two new accounts – a move rob knew nothing about.

In december last year I had two new O2 accounts opened in my name and at my home address – neither of which was created by me.

From what i have since found out about O2, the scammer did this at a carphone warehouse store and collected brand new ipads and iphones at the time. They used fake bank details for a direct debit on a monzo account and then left the store with the goods.

I became aware of this when letters arrived from O2 informing me of my new accounts. I immediately called O2 and made them aware of the fraudulent activity. I have asked to close the contracts and remove the credit applications from my credit file. Six weeks later, still nothing has happened. The accounts remain open and experian still shows the credit applications as well as a debt of £920 to date to O2.

I called O2 several times, but jumped around in different departments. They say they have been "busy" over christmas and new years. It is now almost february.

I am currently considering buying a property and am concerned that this may affect my available mortgage products/interest rates and therefore cost me money. What should I do?

NEWSAM money's response:

Rob is understandably concerned about how this will affect his mortgage application ( image: getty images)

It is no surprise that you are concerned about how this will affect you. Not only has it caused you tremendous financial stress, but it could also cost you a top mortgage deal, as markers can remain on your credit file for up to six years.

After speaking to both carphone warehouse and O2, I have learned that this is a case of identity fraud.

It's likely that their data was captured long before the fraudster entered the store – which would explain why he was able to pass all security checks.

However, this does not explain how they were able to use a completely fabricated monzo account to sign up for two new contracts.

Despite this, the retailer has apologized for the mix-up at one of its stores.

A spokeswoman told me: "our colleagues are regularly trained to spot signs of identity fraud at the point of sale, and we have systems in place to record and report cases where we see them.

"In this case, the identity theft occurred prior to any interaction with our business, and the individual was therefore able to provide all the details that merchants generally look for before completing a transaction.

'However, we regret the experience that mr. Prowse has had at the hands of these criminals and will be contacting him to advise him on the protection of his personal data in future.'

O2 has also now agreed to close both accounts and remove the £920 debt from their credit file.

As the contracts were not opened through O2, there was no cause for concern and therefore wrote to them by default if they had not met their payments.

The telecommunications giant said its customer service did not meet the usual standard – and has now agreed to cancel the outstanding fee of 920 GBP and close the two fraudulently acquired accounts.

The payments have now been stopped and your credit file cancelled – all red flags have been removed.

The retailer has also offered to pay them £75 as a gesture of goodwill to cover any credit check fees and inconvenience caused – whether they accept this is at their discretion.

A spokeswoman told me, "O2 takes fraud and the safety of its customers very seriously. We regret that the service received by mr prowse in this case was below our expected standards and have spoken to him and offered him £75 which was credited to his account, this was declined.

'The fraudulent £900 debt has been removed, his credit file has been amended and all correspondence to his address has ceased'.'


Money troubles aims to be informative and engaging. Although it may contain tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for financial decisions.

All information in this article was correct at the time of publication.

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