Published October 2017
If anyone from Sprint reads this and cares enough to contact me, please enter the name of the collection agency used by Sprint below (to confirm that you’re not a robot), click the ‘Show Number’ button, and call me.
Agency Name:
(N**** S**** Agency)
A few observations about how Sprint PCS handles cases of Identity Theft
At the beginning of May this year I was the victim of identity theft, and spent considerable time filing police reports, contacting credit bureaus, changing passwords, cancelling credit cards, changing login names, etc. Three months later I received a letter from a debt collection agency, telling me that they had been given the task of recovering an unpaid debt of over $1,000 from a Sprint account. I have never had an account with Sprint, and after some enquiries I discovered that back in May the identity thief had also opened a Sprint account in my name, used the phone, and (of course) never paid the bills.
When I called Sprint (and after being passed from person to person for 15 minutes) I eventually discovered the phone number of their Fraud Department (888-788-0788). When called, a recorded message is played telling you that in a case of identity theft you need to complete a form (downloaded from the Sprint website) and mail it to them. I did as indicated and sent off all the relevant documentation.
I subsequently received another letter from Sprint’s collection agency, so I tried to contact the Sprint Fraud Department to confirm that they had received my documentation and that I could ignore the second letter from the collection agency. I tried in vain for two days to speak to anyone in the Fraud Department, but eventually had to give up—it was impossible to do so. I do not know the account number of the fraudulent account, nor the associated phone number (Sprint will not tell me either). Without this information, however, it is impossible to get past the telephone menus of Sprint’s Fraud Department – either you enter the account number using your phone keypad, or the system hangs up on you.
Point #1. Sprint makes no meaningful attempt to confirm the validity of an attempt to open a new account with them. It is extremely easy for an identity thief to setup a new Sprint account in such a way that no meaningful, independent check is done by Sprint to verify the identity of the person opening the account. One of the Sprint representatives that I spoke to confirmed that this is the case, and volunteered his opinion that it was a very badly flawed system.
Point #2. If a Sprint account runs up an unpaid balance, Sprint do not send any physical reminders to the mailing address of the account. In a case of identity theft sending reminders via email or text message are both obviously pointless, since they will just go to the thief, not to the person whose identity has been stolen.
Point #3. The process to communicate with Sprint’s Fraud Department is a disgrace. They do everything that they can to block attempts to speak to them, in a context where the law been broken, and someone’s credit rating is at risk. They clearly do not give a damn.
Conclusion: Sprint can screw up your credit rating even if you have never used them as a phone service provider.