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Moneypenny2014

Potential Identify Theft

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Moneypenny2014

Hi All,

Today in the mail I received a Statement from Home Hardware saying that I owed $130 from a purchase I had supposedly made at their Leumeah store a month ago.

I haven't bought anything from Home Hardware, nor do I have an account with them and I don't even live in Sydney!

I am guessing someone has used my name and address to open up an account with them and bought some items.

I googled Identity Theft on the internet and it suggested to place a Fraud Alert on my credit history.

Has anyone done this before or been in this situation and what did you do? I just want to make sure I am covered in case this person starts creating accounts here, there and everywhere in my name.

Edited by Moneypenny2014

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born.a.girl

Are you quite, quite sure the account is genuinely from a legitimate store? Not a fake account with the bank details of the scammer on the account?

 

 

A quick call to Home Hardware would give you that information, and i'd recommend you preface your call with saying that you're concerned about identity theft given the invoice you've received.

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Luci

Are you quite, quite sure the account is genuinely from a legitimate store? Not a fake account with the bank details of the scammer on the account?

 

 

A quick call to Home Hardware would give you that information, and i'd recommend you preface your call with saying that you're concerned about identity theft given the invoice you've received.

 

I was thinking the same. The letter itself might be the fraudulent part. I don’t buy hardware much but I would be surprised if a hardware shop offered a service where an individual shopper could open an account and take goods home and then pay later. Surely payment would have been required at time of purchase.

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IamOzgirl

Yeah I agree.

 

It really such a small amount. That's the red flag.

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IamtheMumma

Definitely give the store a call in the morning and then call your bank if the invoice is legitimately from the store.

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born.a.girl

I was thinking the same. The letter itself might be the fraudulent part. I don’t buy hardware much but I would be surprised if a hardware shop offered a service where an individual shopper could open an account and take goods home and then pay later. Surely payment would have been required at time of purchase.

 

 

I figured a hardware store would want to see an ABN in the same name, at a minimum, to open an account.

 

Hardware is low margin, running accounts is expensive, they don't do it on a whim.

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IamtheMumma

I was thinking the same. The letter itself might be the fraudulent part. I don’t buy hardware much but I would be surprised if a hardware shop offered a service where an individual shopper could open an account and take goods home and then pay later. Surely payment would have been required at time of purchase.

 

Trade companies often have accounts with hardware stores. I had to put money down first after a credit check and specify a limit but it wasn't too hard to get the account. I did have to produce an ABN etc.

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IamOzgirl

Definitely give the store a call in the morning and then call your bank if the invoice is legitimately from the store.

 

Not sure the bank will help.

 

Op received an invoice from a store. No bank involved.

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PrincessPeach

100% ring home hardware, from the phone number you google.

 

Then if it turns out to be a legitimate letter, i'd go straight to the police.

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Luci

100% ring home hardware, from the phone number you google.

 

Then if it turns out to be a legitimate letter, i'd go straight to the police.

 

Yes definitely look up the phone number on the internet, don’t use the contact details on the statement.

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WaitForMe

Start with ringing the hardware store. Don't phone the number on the invoice, look it up online.

 

Depending what they say, you may want to consider contacting IDCare after that.

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Moneypenny2014

I agree with the comments above about requiring an ABN etc to open an account but I don't think the Statement is fake as all the company details including the phone number match what Home Hardware & Mitre 10 advertise for their Victorian head office.

I did try to call them but it was just after 5:30 and they were closed. I will definitely try again tomorrow but even the Statement doesn't look like something someone has drafted up - it looks quite professional with BPAY options and everything.

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WaitForMe

Anyone can create an accurate letterhead.

 

ETA: although must admit a physical invoice scam is a new one to me.

Edited by WaitForMe
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Moneypenny2014

Anyone can create an accurate letterhead.

 

Agree but would they put the correct phone number, ABN etc on it? Obviously I'm going to call them to query the amount outstanding so if they put Home Hardware's actual phone number on their letter that's who I'll get when I phone (regardless of me checking the number via google), rather than using some shonky phone number

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Luci

Unfortunately it is possible that you have been a victim of identity fraud but equally scammers can be very clever. I recently received an email claiming to be from American Express. All the details were correct and it looked so legit. I have an American Express Account and could have been fooled but I was lucky - my name has an unusual spelling and there was a small error in it which topped me off.

 

Anyway hope you can sort it out when you phone them tomorrow. You could point out that you live interstate, have never been to the store and don’t have an ABN so would not be eligible for an account even if you were to apply, which you didn’t.

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SplashingRainbows

It’s not uncommon for hackers to intercept emailed invoices and change bank details on them leaving all other details correct. I’ve had clients caught out by this.

 

So moving similar logic to a paper invoice version isn’t unheard of - just more expensive (postage!) and slower (postage!).

 

As PPs have said confirm with the store(s) and then go further from there.

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Moneypenny2014

Thanks everyone I'm hoping the statement I received in the mail is completely incorrect and will call them tomorrow. I dug the envelope out of the bin and it had a window with printed logo and correct return address plus Postage Paid stamp. The black rubber post mark was blurred so I couldnt read when it came from.

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kitkatswing

Dont ring the phone number on the letter... Google it to confirm it is the correct one...

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IamOzgirl

Read this

 

https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/identity-fraud

 

Getting your credit report is a good idea. To check any other credit hasn't been applied for.

 

When you call Home Hardware, ask them to tell you what they verified your identity with. Then you know what you are up against.

Edited by IamOzgirl
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Luci

How did you go Moneypenny when you phoned today?

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aprilrainatxmas

I'm wondering if they were able to clear it up for you too.

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Rilee's~Mama

Any news???

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