B.C Woman Triumphs Over Bell Mobility in Identity Fraud Fight After Two Years
Vancouver, B.C., resident Erica Phillips last week was finally able to rid herself of the daily calls from collections agencies hounding her to pay hundreds of dollars owed on a Bell Mobility account that had been fraudulently created in her name by someone who stole her identity — reports the CBC.
“It’s a huge sense of relief,” she told the publication. “It’s so nice knowing that this won’t continue being a daily reminder of something that shouldn’t have been my problem to begin with.”
According to Phillips, she has been butting heads with Bell Mobility trying to get the matter straightened out for more than two years with little response. She did everything she should have: filed reports with the police, credit agencies, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and provided Bell with documents supporting her claim that the account was opened fraudulently — but to no avail.
Back in 2020, collection notices addressed to Phillips were sent to an old address by Bell Mobility and Rogers. She had never been a customer of either company.
While Phillips originally thought the notices were a phishing attempt, some digging revealed that she had actually been a victim of identity fraud. Both the Bell Mobility and Rogers accounts had been opened in Phillips’ name using her stolen personal information.
Rogers was quick to wipe the debt and cancel the fraudulent account once Phillips contacted them and explained the situation, but Bell was an entirely different story.
“That’s what seemed so insane to me at the beginning, that it was so easily taken care of with one of the companies and then not at all with the other,” said Phillips.
Unfortunately, the constant collection calls didn’t stop until Phillips took her ordeal public and posted about her frustrations on TikTok. “I took all of the correct avenues,” she said. “I didn’t want to make myself public but I felt like I was forced to.”
Her story was picked up by news outlets shortly after, putting press pressure on Bell to make things right. The company has since confirmed that the account associated with the debt was fraudulent and called off the credit agencies.
“We have conducted an investigation and have determined that this account was fraudulent,” Bell Mobility said in an emailed statement to the CBC. “We are attempting to contact the client and have advised our affiliated credit agencies of the billing error.”
Billing errors aren’t all that uncommon with telecom operators. In fact, nearly 40% of the consumer complaints accepted by Canada’s Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services during the 2021-22 period had to do with billing issues. That said, it’s staggering to see a dispute go unresolved for over two years.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Bell Aliant, another wireless operator under the Bell Canada umbrella, found itself in hot water after grossly overcharging a senior in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia for local calls due to a “programming error.”