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Clerical error causes credit catastrophe for Calgary woman
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, February 11, 2014 3:46PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 11, 2014 8:24PM MST
A Calgary woman was caught up in a credit nightmare after trying to clear a money mess created by an unpaid cell phone bill for an account she says she never opened.
Ning Li has spent hours on the phone trying to prove she's the victim of identity fraud.
Li called her bank to increase the limit on her credit card and was surprised to find out that she was on the hook for a $600 cell phone bill.
“The bank told me they couldn’t do that because there is an issue about my credit and they told me I had a Rogers bill since 2007 I didn’t pay,” said Li.
Li says that’s not possible since she has never been a Rogers customer, but she says proving that has left her helpless.
“All the department has said, nothing they can do,” said Li. “They said if I want to prove it’s not me, I have to fax all my ID, all the documents to prove that where do I live since 2007.”
CTV News contacted Rogers about the case and the company says ID is required when an individual opens an account.
In this situation, Rogers says someone showed ID with Li's name when the account was opened.
“If the fraud has already occurred, then the best thing to do, of course, is to report it to the police,” said CPS Const. Tanya Bertulli with the Economic Crime Unit.
Calgary police say if someone believes they are a victim they can put a fraud alert on their credit report.
They also recommend people check their credit history regularly through credit bureaus like Equifax and TransUnion.
“So that they are aware if anything has been compromised because sometimes we don't know for months or years and then, at that point it becomes more difficult to clear up those issues,” said Bertulli.
Li says she wants the issue resolved because bad credit can have a serious impact on her financial future.
“I don't know why I should pay 600 dollar bill I didn’t do that,” said Li.
After almost a week of dealing with the issue, Li received a call on Tuesday morning saying everything is cleared up.
Rogers now says the mistake was made by a credit bureau.
It appears a clerical error of some kind meant a Roger's customer's outstanding charges were accidentally linked to Li's credit file.
Rogers says the credit bureau has now cleared Li’s file and the $600 cell bill will be wiped out.
Rogers has also apologized for the error.
For more information on identity fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
(With files from Ina Sidhu)