That sounds like identity theft

Please excuse my formatting, on mobile and I don’t post much.

Several years ago I worked in tech support/billing for a cable company. Sometimes people who want to set up service would reach us. We were capable of helping them but sometimes it didn’t go smoothly. This is one of those times

IRDC = Me NC = Nice caller

IRDC: (greeting)

NC: Hi yeah I’m calling to set up service.

IRDC: Yeah I can help with that! Are you excited to be in a new place?

NC: yeah, it’s my first apartment, moving for college.

We chat a bit while I get his name, DOB, SSN, address for the service, etc. His information comes up attached to a closed account with a substantial balance outstanding, all said it’s about $1200.

IRDC: Sir have you ever had service with us before?

NC: No, never

IRDC: My system shows an account with your information with a past due balance from X years ago.

NC: thinks for a moment was it at X address?

IRDC: Yes, that’s the one! Do you know anything else about this?

NC: Well that’s my mom’s old address, I lived there when I was a kid.

Based off the birth date he gave me that’s true, he would’ve been around 12. We don’t let 12 year olds open accounts. At this point I’m a little suspicious so I ask to put him on hold and do some digging. I checked on the other accounts at that address before and after his account. Sure enough most have past due balances and have the same last name. It looks like Mom was setting up accounts with her children’s information and then closing them after a few months of non payment. These accounts probably shouldn’t have been set up in the first place but the damage is done now.

I speak with my supervisor and with our fraud team to see what we can do, which is not much. The personal info is accurate so it’s on him to pay it pr have a good reason to dispute it. He’s also said on a recorded line he and his Mom lived there during that time, so that complicates things.

IRDC: thanks for your patience, NC! I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, however I can’t set up an account in your name with this balance outstanding.

NC: Even though I was a child? I didn’t even know this existed

IRDC: That is a strong point in your favor if you want to dispute the balance. You can speak with our fraud department, however that may involve reporting identity theft. Given who likely opened the account I’m not sure what I’d recommend.

NC: Well. Damn. Ummm…. ok? I guess I’ll figure this out somehow.

IRDC: I wish I had some better news for you. If I may offer a little advice, though, you might want to get a credit report to see what is on it.

He sounded pretty defeated, but not entirely surprised. I really felt bad, but nothing else I could do. After that I flagged the old address for suspicious behavior and sent it off to fraud.

TL;DR: Young guy trying to set up service, has a past due balance from when he was a child. Turns out Mom had been using his (and probably other kids/relatives) personal info to open accounts, rack up charges, and never pay.

**edit: formatting

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What do you think?

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Some advice please? My call centre job is destroying my mental health.

"Go **** yourself"!!!