Victim of identity thief ‘Mr Mucky’ calls on lenders like Humm to beef up their defenses
An Auckland man was shocked to find that identity thieves who got their hands on his driver’s license details could open a Humm account buy now, pay later tied to a credit card that wasn’t not his and give a “Mr Mucky” e-mail address.
He learned of identity theft by police investigating fraudulent transactions on the stolen credit card that was used to open the Humm account.
The man, who asked not to be named because he was involved in a company fundraiser, struggled to understand how he was able to open Humm, Afterpay and NZ Farm Source accounts so easily at his name at the end of August.
Using the Humm account, the thief purchased just over $ 1,000 worth of easily resold products on his behalf through Briscoes, Rebel Sport, Smartgear NZ and Playtech, the man said.
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He said the items purchased were sent to an address in central Auckland that the man had no connection with.
“It’s just too easy to do. How many innocent people have this toll taken on their lives. It’s terrible, ”he said.
He blamed digital applications in which no human interaction was required for the apparent ease with which “Mr. Mucky” pretended to be him.
“There is no human interaction. They do it to save money and get people to sign up quickly, ”he said.
Humm has over 2.3 million customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Humm spokeswoman Emma Rackley denied that her systems were easily fooled by identity thieves.
“Our rigorous approach to fraud detection means it is still a very rare event, and as of August, only 0.004% of applicants were found to be fraudulent,” she said.
“All requests must first be approved by our third-party anti-money laundering provider, an essential legal compliance and security mechanism, before undergoing credit checks and being verified by the platform. Hummgroup’s fraud management system that identifies and blocks fraudulent accounts, ”she said.
The man’s experience parallels that of Neill Bryce, a Wellington man, who had Humm, Afterpay and Zip opened on his behalf by identity thieves.
Like the Auckland man, Bryce did not learn of the identity theft from any of the other lenders. He only found out that he had been a victim of identity theft when a debt collector came to call him.
In both cases, Humm said his systems detected the fraud shortly after his commission.
Bryce called on the Buy Now, Pay industry later to adopt a code of conduct that included proactively contacting suspected identity theft victims.
The Auckland man said that by contacting Humm, he was told his fraud investigators would contact him within 21 days.
This contrasts with NZ Farm Source, who apologized and immediately removed their name from the fraudulent account, he said.
He has now filed a complaint with the Trade Commission.
Rackley said it was “deeply upsetting to be the victim of a financial crime”.
Humm bore the financial cost of fraud and ensured that customers’ credit records were not affected. He also worked with police to help identify fraudsters and provide evidence to aid prosecutions, she said.
Police told the Auckland man they did not have the resources to track down his identity thief, but advised him what to do to stop any further attempted theft.
This included checking her free credit report at credit bureaus like Credit Simple and adding a “delete” to her credit report, which alerts lenders that the person is a victim of identity theft. .
Victims of identity theft can see on their credit reports which lenders have loaned money to people posing as them, so they can contact them and demand an immediate investigation.
Police also advised the man to have his compromised driver’s license reissued, rendering details of the old license unusable for thieves.
He was unsure how the identity thief obtained his driver’s license details but assumed it was a data breach at a company he had dealt with, with suspicion falling on the companies car rental.