Please be very aware
A scary moment today, and I feel I need to tell my readers to be aware themselves.
We have a mobile phone each, and pay each month the contract fee for the SIM card. The handsets are paid for, and our fee for the SIM cards (which is the number) is very low. We have unlimited calls and data, and a cap on anything above that so the amount each month is set. (So we don't send photos by text, or call expensive numbers, etc.)
Today we wanted to pop into our local mobile phone shop as my contract had come to an end and I wished to gat another low fee contract.
No problem there.
The young man was extremely helpful and the shop itself was very COVID aware - facemasks, screens, hand-squirt, etc.
No problem there.
Where the alert came was when I asked the young man to check Man Wonderful's contract to see if they could save us any money.
And the young man asked which of MW's accounts we wanted to check.
Pardon? Which of his accounts.
Yes, which of his mobile phone numbers.
MW replied that he only has one account. I have one number - he has one number.
Then the young man showed us that in April this year another mobile phone account was opened in MW's name.
We were in lockdown for all of April.
We only deal with mobile phones in the shop, as someone always takes their time to explain things slowly for us until we are happy and understand. (We are not daft, it's just one of us is retired, the other is disabled....it's an age thing!!)
So how on earth had this happened?
Then we thought back to April again - when someone had 'hacked' into our bank account using Man Wonderful's name and bank number, and we had to stop his bank card and get another with a different number and password. The 'hacker' had stolen money (which was refunded by our bank immediately) and bought things (we were not aware of the details) and clearly one of those things was a SIM card in MW's name. Because of the direct debit that had been set up as a small amount each month, we had thought it was a normal fee.
Today we were in contact with the fraud department of this company who have sorted this out straight away.
It seems it is a VERY common thing.
And our overworked police don't investigate issues under £200.
Please be very aware.
If you can visit your mobile phone providers store, get a printout of your accounts as we did today, and ensure nobody has done the same for you. If you can get this done for you online, get it done. When we log on, we only see the account for our numbers, so because we didn't know that other number, we wouldn't be entering that number on the site to check it's account...
N.B. We see everything going in and out of our bank. We thought this small amount was normal.
Thankfully our tale ends in a 'phew'!
I hope this helps someone.