Today I received an email stating that an online order I had place was being processed. After confirming the email address was genuine I checked the order receipt and logged into my account to find the details were all correct, someone had used my account details to sign up to a new phone plan and have the phone delivered to another address.
Since I realised only 20 minutes after the order was placed I tried to get on the phone to customer support and have it cancelled but after waiting on hold for 15 minutes I figured it would be quicker to head down the road to the local shopping centre and talk to the staff in the Optus store. After explaining my situation to two separate people I was told that "we're only a retail store so we can't really fix something like this for you" and I was given a store phone to call customer service with the assurance that it was a "priority line" so I wouldn't have to wait on hold.
I waited on hold for 15 minutes before the first person answered the phone, who straight away cold transferred me to the fraud department. After having to explain everything again, I was cold transferred again to someone else in the fraud department. After explaining the situation to this person I was then told that they couldn't help me and that I would need to talk to the financial services team. Again I was cold transferred so I had to explain everything again to the person in financial services, who told me that they could not raise a fraud case until after the service had been delivered and activated.
They then cold transferred me back to an Australian call center which turned out to be Sales who, like the store, are only trained to take money from people and not to provide any customer service. They then infuriatingly once again cold transferred me to sales support. After explaining the sitatuation for the millionth time (was anyone keeping count for me?) they actually looked up the order and told me that since it was already sent to the warehouse for processing that it was not possible to cancel it and they would have to wait for it to be shipped, (hopefully) refused delivery without my ID, and (hopefully) sent back to the warehouse before it could be cancelled. By this point I'd been on the phone for about 45 minutes and no one was able to help or even tell me how the order was even placed to begin with.
I can't imagine that I'm the first person that this has ever happened to, but there doesn't appear to be a clear procedure for anyone in the highly fragmented Optus ecosystem to follow when it comes to dealing with fraud. Fraud costs Optus money, which in turn costs its customers money, but no one seems interested in stopping it.
Yes it appears fragmented in many areas and I can understand your frustration.
Perhaps work with the system (silly as it is). Contact Optus and report the phone stolen.
The will bar the service, block the IMIE number and prevent any auto recharging.
After that try sort out what you can do about the fraud (including reporting it to the police). Its unclear who wears the cost. IMO it should be Optus as they are the ones that have been defrauded and they have no contract with you for anything. However they might not see it that way.
Hi @jaons_lee, thanks for taking the time to write this up.
Terribly sorry to hear of your experience over the phone with our reps, we can appreciate this is quite frustrating, given you were calling for an urgent matter.
The first thing you'll need to do is contact our Financial Services department (1300308839) & request a fraud pack to be sent out.
We would also recommend grabbing yourself a Stat Dec and a Police Report.
More information on how Optus handles fraud can be found here.
The direct contact details to our Fraud team can also be found, however I'll list them here →
Ph: 1800 460 756
I have already filed a police report so I'll look into getting a stat dec today and while I assume this will prevent any financial losses on my part it doesn't remedy the fact that someone now has my account number, full name, DOB, address, mobile phone number and license number and I'm at an even greater risk of identity theft. No one on the phone yesterday was even able to tell me where/how the order was placed and there's no way of scrutinising the login history on my online account.
Since Optus does not have any 2FA available to secure their online systems all of this information was exposed and someone was just able to add a new phone and plan to my existing direct debit arrangements without any confirmation of my identity or payment details whatsoever and that's not good enough.
Who is the correct body to contact, the TIO or the OAIC?
2FA has its limits. If they could log into your Optus account then with the details they have they can ring most institutions and just request a reset password be sent to your email address buy 'identifying' themselves to the customer service.
Do you use Optus email? Paypal? eBay?
I would contact your bank and see what you can do to protect your accounts from any changes done this way.
After being assured that there would be no way the phone could be successfully delivered without my ID, it seems the couriers are just as useless as the support staff because the phone was recieved and activated.
I called financial services and was bounced to fraud who have now bounced me to cancellations.
Is there an escalation number I can call so that I can reach someone who has some idea of what they're doing?
Hopefully it ends here but its a scary thing.
I would suggest contacting the credit rating agency (like veda). Normally I recommend just getting a free yearly report but I think you can pay for a 'monitoring' service that will tell you as soon as anyone attempts to get credit using your details.
Also set up a seperate gmail account for getting info etc. for the short term.
I think someone mentioned an Optus fraud pack which hopefully has some good tips.
I feel your pain as I am going through the same right now. At least I have taken control of the mobile services online account so that I can track their calls. I am finding out that there really is no such thing as identity fraud investigation by telcos. They seem only to be interested in sales. There is no investigation. You just get your police report and a signed stat Dec and send it in to the "fraud team" so that the charges can be waived. If they could stop it from happening in the first place but then....sales. in the meantime, these fraudulent accounts keep popping up like mushrooms as they can' stop new online orders happening until I change my drivers licence number.