This incident happened 3 days ago on 29/01/2020 in Melbourne, Victoria
I rang up Vodafone on 20/01/2020, around a week prior to this incident and i was talking about paying off my current handset which is on a plan and adding a new handset (iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB). All my queries were answered, they said they can do it online and ship the device to me instantly and would require the account holders permission etc but i said no thanks we’ll go into the store and sort it out. This conversation happened with the legit Vodafone call centers on 1555.
After a week later, on 29/01/2020 my dad received a call from 0390054915 , The scammer pretended he was calling from Vodafone, he started telling him that Vodafone will give him 30% discount if he adds another handset on his account and was telling him about all kinds of “special” deals and discounts he can get. The scammer then sent an “One Time Password” (OTP) to my Dad’s phone to “verify” his identity, my dad gave the OTP which came as a text message from vodafone, then the scammer also asked for the 4 digit pin on his account, he also gave him that. (This is the point where the scammer got all the information he needed to place the phone orders) After several minutes of talking i guess the conversation was over and my dad would ring back if he wanted the deal. Unfortunately i wasn’t there when the scammers rang him because if i heard someone ask about any information such as PIN’s or OTP’s i would easily suspect that they’re a scammer, i’d also Google the number and find out who the f*ck it is beforehand. This conversation took place around 12:30PM.
I’m 99% sure someone from the Vodafone call centers passed this information ONTO the scammer that we needed a new handset, since a week before the incident I contacted the legit vodafone centers on 20/01/2020, the scammer rang my dad on his phone number on 29/01/2020 pretending to be from Vodafone, how would the scammer know that we talked about needing a new handset? Either Vodafone call center’s are hacked and info is being leaked OR the Call Center employees are working with scammers or are scammers themselves.
Anyways my dad called me at 3:00 PM on the same day of the incident (29/01/2020), he said that "Did you tell vodafone to ship a mobile to us?"
I was like "Hell no, i haven’t even talked to them since a week ago when i rang them, how dare they ship the phone without our permission?"
He said "Well i talked to someone from Vodafone this morning, they were talking about a handset deal, Vodafone might have shipped it by accident. I received an email from vodafone saying “your order is being shipped” I was on my way home from a photoshoot so i said "Don’t worry i’ll call them and talk to u when i’m home and we’ll sort it out"
It was 5:00PM when i got home and i rang my dad because he wasn’t home at that time, i said "So which handset did they ship is it the same one that i was talking to them about? (iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB)?"
He said “No they shipped an “iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB” Also they shipped it to the wrong address” At this moment i was like WTF, i hung up to call vodafone.
My dad texted me he said “Don’t worry, i just talked to the Vodafone guy he said it’s a technical issue which will be fixed” I said “Who did u talk to? Give me the number” He replied with “0390054915” I google’d this number and it was a reverse phone number in Melbourne which basically telemarketers and scammers use. I texted him "No way that’s not even Vodafone."
I logged onto his email and checked the emails and there were around 6 - 7 notifications from Vodafone.
1 was an “Vodafone Account Upgrade” Notification
3 were “Thanks for your order, we’re preparing your order to ship”
3 were “Your Vodafone order has been shipped from our warehouse”
We live in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne and the address the devices were shipped to was in Elsternwick, Melbourne which we have never seen or visited before, i was shocked and at this point i knew that my dad was a victim of identity theft.
So this is what the $6000+ orders the scammer placed were:
1x iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB (Space Gray)
1x iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB (GOLD)
1x iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB (Silver)
1x Black Sim Tray Slot
The scammer also added a new mobile number on our Vodafone account with a $40 RED Plan to get multiple items. The messed up part was that all these items were shipped to that Melbourne address. The packages were shipped using MYToll IPEC Priority, all the 3 devices were under 1 tracking number.
I talked to Vodafone customer service around 4 times.
They said that they have marked this issue and reported it blah blah, they wrote everything in their notes.
Told us to fill this form: https://vha.secure.force.com/identityfraud
They also asked for all the IEMI numbers of the handsets so they can block it and the scammers won’t be able to use it, i doubt that even works however they would still be able to sell the parts for good money even if the phones did get blocked.
We had to file a police report for the vodafone identity fraud form so we went to the police station, they said that we have to do it online, we filed a cyber report online. Had to go to the JP to get the https://www.vodafone.com.au/doc/vhastatutorydec.pdf STAT dec signed.
Got my Dad to change the PIN and passwords for his account, reported the other random number which the scammer added onto our account. The Vodafone guy said that we won’t be charged for any of this, even if the next bill has a charge for that new number it will be re-imbursed and the fraud team are investigating further into this.
I still wanted to prevent the scammer from getting the phones. I contacted MYToll IPEC on 29/01/2020 at night around 9:00PM and talked to staff there, they acknowledged the issue and said that we have made a ticket that this order is fraudulent and should be sent back to Vodafone. The guy which we spoke to “Romeo” said that i have made a high priority ticket and he said that this order will not reach the scammers house. The MyToll Customer service is based in Philippines not Australia so i didn’t really take his word, he gave me a reference number for the call. They also took my details to call me once they have any updates regarding this.
The next morning 30/01/2020 around 8:00AM i called MYTOLL again regarding the issue to see what’s happening and i gave them the reference number so they know what’s happening. I could see from the tracking number that the package was in NSW. They said the same thing and told me that the package is being shipped from NSW and will NOT go to Melbourne and will be shipped back to Vodafone’s warehouse which is in NSW. I was relieved and said alright sounds good. I checked the tracking number around 12:40PM and saw that the package has reached in MELBOURNE! i was pissed off because after alerting them a night before and then early in the morning they still couldn’t manage to get that package stopped from being shipped to the scammer. I called MYTOLL again and told them that the package is in Melbourne i need you guys to locate the delivery guy and not deliver it. They said they don’t have the ability to do that but they will create a “high priority” ticket and i said “Which won’t do shit” i told them how i warned them about this issue ages ago and they still couldn’t do shit. They said if it gets delivered we will still investigate and try to retrieve the package and call you back once we have an update. They even knew there were $6000 worth of fraudulent goods in there.
ALSO the funny thing is the vodafone email said “You must have the ID matching to my Dads Name to receive the package otherwise they will take it to their nearest collection post office and you will have to get it from there” There is no way the scammer would have the ID so i have no idea how MYTOLL just gives packages to some random. No wonder they have 1.2 stars from 3,506 reviews on productreview .com.au/listings/toll-priority
I kept tracking the order to see if it would say delivered or the driver would have been informed by someone, so instead of waiting i called the nearest police station to Elsternwick, Melbourne which was “Caulfield Police Station” and they connected my to the “Police Hotline” I didn’t ring 000 because it wasn’t an emergency although i should’ve because the Police hotline was hopeless. I told the lady on the police hotline that my dad’s identity got stolen and $6000 Worth of Stolen goods are about to be delivered to an address in Elsternwick which is minutes away from your station. The lady said that my dad should go to his nearest police station and file a report with all the evidence etc, i said can you guys go to that address and find out who this scammer is? She said i’m not a police officer and i’m not in a police station right now and told me that we should file a report, i said no worries, thanks and goodbye. That was hopeless, i kept tracking the tracking number hoping it would be cancelled or be re-routed to Vodafone’s Sydney Warehouse but instead the order was delivered to the scammer. I still have his address tho.
I probably should’ve drove the the guy’s street and waited until the delivery van came and caught him red handed, that;s the only time police would do their job i reckon lol.
I’m happy that my dad doesn’t have to pay for that shit, but i’m pissed off that the scammer got $6000 worth of iPhone’s.
Moral of the story is:
Don’t trust ANYONE asking you any information over the phone
Research THE Number on Google thoroughly before you give out information.
Delivery Companies are hopeless at suspending fraudulent orders.
Police doesn’t do sh*t in online fraud cases.
It’s better to deal with companies in store.
If you guys have any questions let me know.