Identity theft: Meet Tshepo

Tsepho is a 30-year-old who works as a call centre agent in Sandton. He commutes by taxi from his home in Soweto to his workplace.

On a Thursday morning on his way to work, Tshepo dropped his wallet at the taxi rank. Upon realising what had happened, Tshepo went back to the taxi rank to look for his wallet. He was lucky to find his wallet in the lost and found box and was grateful to the Good Samaritan that had placed it there.

A couple of weeks passed since the incident, and Tsepho received phone calls from retail stores to remind him on outstanding account payments. Tsepho made frantic efforts to physically visit the retail stores in question and denied owing them. According to Tsepho, the debt cannot be accrued by him because he never opened any account. They asked for him to present his ID and that’s when he realized he hadn’t seen it in a while and it could possibly be lost.

The good Samaritan who had picked up Tshepo’s wallet at the taxi rank pulled out the ID and went on to change the photo on the ID and easily became Tshepo. This stranger went on to open various accounts in different retail stores and took goods on credit.

Unfortunately, there is no legal defence for such a situation and Tshepo is under obligation by law to pay the debt to avoid serious legal implications. This is the reality that can confront anyone.

For more information and advice on legal issues on identity theft, contact Scorpion Legal Protection, or visit their Facebook page.

To join Scorpion Legal Protection, SMS “KASI” to 34453 and they’ll call you back.

(Ts and Cs apply. SMSs charged at R1,50)

 

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