When you are a victim of identity theft, you would hope the matter would be resolved quickly so that you could get on with your life.
Here is the story of Ms. Twani who has had to resort to legal counsel to get things moving. Her story is summed up in her legal representative's letter to Ellerines:
1. About a month ago, Ms. Thabisa Twani tried to open an account at Mr. Price clothing store, which was declined. Upon enquiring the reason for the decline she was advised that she has got an overdue account with Ellerines.
2. Ms. Twani informed the shop assistant that she does not have an Ellerines account, in fact, she does not have any accounts whatsoever, and that the Mr. Price account is her first ever account application.
3. Ms. Twani was then advised to contact African Bank as they would be able to provide her with more information about the account. Ms. Twani immediately went to the nearest African Bank branch to sort out the problem.
4. African Bank looked into this account and found that there is an account on Ms. Twani’s name, and that the I.D number in this account is the one of Ms. Twani. Again Ms. Twani said that she does not have an account with Ellerines. At African Bank, Ms. Twani was given the name of Grace Dywile which is relevant to this account.
5. Ms. Twani contacted Ellerines in Port Elizabeth to find out about this account and to speak to Grace Dywile.
6. The Port Elizabeth branch told Ms. Twani that this account was opened in the Transkei. Ms. Twani then phoned Ellerines in Transkei, hoping to speak to Grace, but she was informed by Thomas (the manager) that Grace has left Ellerines in March 2010.
7. Ms. Twani explained her problem to Thomas, who said that he will investigate the matter.
8. After numerous phone calls, Thomas said that he is waiting for files from the head office, as he is new at the branch and is not aware of this account.
9. Again after a few phone calls, Thomas said that there is a fax with a copy of Ms. Twani’s I.D in the file. Ms. Twani once again said that she never applied for an account with Ellerines and that she did not give anyone a copy of her I.D.
10. Thomas asked Ms. Twani if she is certain that there are no friends or relatives in the Transkei that might have tried to open an account on her behalf. Ms. Twani informed Thomas that she does not know anyone in the Transkei, as she resides in Motherwell township, close to Uitenhage.
11. Thomas phoned our office again and informed that he is still waiting for a response from head office. With further enquiry, Thomas gave a delivery address (Sifonandile township) where the goods that was purchased from Ellerines, on this account, was delivered. Thomas said that he need to speak to his head office and they will then repossess the goods, and reverse the account against Ms. Twani’s name.
12. In the meantime, Ms. Twani is suffering damages as her name appears on ITC, because of Ellerines. She is trying to open a clothing account in order to buy winter clothing for her two small children. Ms. Twani has tried all the clothing stores, but her applications are simply declined.
13. From our office we have also requested copies of the Ellerines account application, copy of the ID relevant to the account, as well as the details of the sales assistant which assisted in opening the account. Ellerines refuses to help us with this detail.
14. We now ask you, as a matter of urgency, please look into this matter and revert to us with an explanation. We need this issue to be corrected within this week, or we will have to proceed with further legal action.