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Hi there....happy to learn of this forum.

 

I am a frequent visitor to UK (from India)as a pure tourist and visiting friends. There has been immense mail from Westcot credit addressed to me at the apartment in London where I stay (owned by a Singapore based company whom I represent in India ) , from a Westcot credit stating that I owe a bank around 7,650 pounds on behalf of whom Westcot is acting. The Last name on the letter is the same as mine however the first name has a difference of 3 alphabets. When spoken it sounds resonably similar. Innocently I have opened this mail though now I clearly return them to sender. Now they have started sending me mail with Just my first initial which I shall admit is also the same as the real culprits.

 

I have called Westcot several times....spelt out my full name and it was revealed that the first name they had on file was different from mine, though reasonably similar (3 alphabets in it don't exist in my first name) They claim that this could well be a "Typo". I further advised that I do not live in UK nor have I ever lived here. I have never taken any loans from any bank in the uk, do not have any credit cards in this country....just a bank account in my name where I keep petty cash for my visits. They asked by DOB and said that it matched with what they had on file and then rudely demanded that I pay the full outstanding amount. They went on to ask me what my previous address was in the UK, and needless I told them that I have neither a previous nor a current address as I do NOT live in this country nor have I ever lived here. They don't get it!!

 

So I guess someone who lives in the UK with a same last name and just a vaguely similar first name and has a same DOB as me....and I am threatened as a toursit to UK to pay an offending UK residents bill!!. Should I laugh or squeal!!! Needless I have everything to support my home address in India where I live and Work. (passport, DL, etc etc)

 

Utterly unprofessional, and no matter how much u try to resolve this...it just keeps on. I have even written a letter to Westcot with a copy to the MD. And now they have started sending utterly nasty threatening letters to me, many of which have been innocently forwarded to my home address in India by the resident caretaker at the London apartment. So i read them in my home country and can't help but to ponder if this is the way many other tourists get treated for debts incurred by a UK resident???

 

Earlier this year I had a notice at the same London address adressed with my first Initial and last name, coming from the Inland revenue with a demand for GBP 9,342 for unpaid taxes and penalties for having failed to file my self assessment for the last 2 yrs!!. This was followed by a bailiffs seizure notice....what would they seize?...I dont earn or even own anything in this country!!WOW!!! My tax domicile is India...why wd the Inland revenue be after me. I don't know what is gong on here???? I wrote to the IR and then had a 2 line letter confirming that they would update there records. Luckily have never heard from them again and I hope I don't.

 

Pls can someone advise how I can bring this saga to an end?? Also will this affect my (Assuming I even have one in the UK!)

 

Many thanks for your help in advance and God bless!

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Hi there....happy to learn of this forum.

 

I am a frequent visitor to UK (from India)as a pure tourist and visiting friends. There has been immense mail from Westcot credit addressed to me at the apartment in London where I stay (owned by a Singapore based company whom I represent in India ) , from a Westcot credit stating that I owe a bank around 7,650 pounds on behalf of whom Westcot is acting. The Last name on the letter is the same as mine however the first name has a difference of 3 alphabets. When spoken it sounds resonably similar. Innocently I have opened this mail though now I clearly return them to sender. Now they have started sending me mail with Just my first initial which I shall admit is also the same as the real culprits.

 

I have called Westcot several times....spelt out my full name and it was revealed that the first name they had on file was different from mine, though reasonably similar (3 alphabets in it don't exist in my first name) They claim that this could well be a "Typo". I further advised that I do not live in UK nor have I ever lived here. I have never taken any loans from any bank in the uk, do not have any credit cards in this country....just a bank account in my name where I keep petty cash for my visits. They asked by DOB and said that it matched with what they had on file and then rudely demanded that I pay the full outstanding amount. They went on to ask me what my previous address was in the UK, and needless I told them that I have neither a previous nor a current address as I do NOT live in this country nor have I ever lived here. They don't get it!!

 

So I guess someone who lives in the UK with a same last name and just a vaguely similar first name and has a same DOB as me....and I am threatened as a toursit to UK to pay an offending UK residents bill!!. Should I laugh or squeal!!! Needless I have everything to support my home address in India where I live and Work. (passport, DL, etc etc)

 

Utterly unprofessional, and no matter how much u try to resolve this...it just keeps on. I have even written a letter to Westcot with a copy to the MD. And now they have started sending utterly nasty threatening letters to me, many of which have been innocently forwarded to my home address in India by the resident caretaker at the London apartment. So i read them in my home country and can't help but to ponder if this is the way many other tourists get treated for debts incurred by a UK resident???

 

Earlier this year I had a notice at the same London address adressed with my first Initial and last name, coming from the Inland revenue with a demand for GBP 9,342 for unpaid taxes and penalties for having failed to file my self assessment for the last 2 yrs!!. This was followed by a bailiffs seizure notice....what would they seize?...I dont earn or even own anything in this country!!WOW!!! My tax domicile is India...why wd the Inland revenue be after me. I don't know what is gong on here???? I wrote to the IR and then had a 2 line letter confirming that they would update there records. Luckily have never heard from them again and I hope I don't.

 

Pls can someone advise how I can bring this saga to an end?? Also will this affect my (Assuming I even have one in the UK!)

 

Many thanks for your help in advance and God bless!

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It's the money-grabbing **** who don't have any morals who are called DCA's (Debt Collecting Agencies), that give you this impression. I wouldnt worry about it.. just keep everything, and NEVER speak to them over the phone. More experienced people will come in to help, but one option is to send a "prove it" letter to them, or a CCA (Consumer Credit Agreement), or you can SAR them... the way to go about it is to CCA them first, and if they don't come up with a copy of the alleged agreement, then after 12 days they would have defaulted, and after 30 days they would have comitted a criminal offence. A SAR is basically a copy of ALL communication between the creditor and the debtor.

 

Keep all attempts at contacting you written down, and a record of all calls made to the number they call you on, whether you answer them or not.

 

Finally, if you write to them, NEVER sign anything, just print your name, but a "prove it" letter might shut them up for a while. I'd be inclined to leave writing to them until just before you leave the country and tell them you are leaving the country to go back to your own country.

 

They will try to get nasty, but then we will just fight back, and if it goes as far as them issuing court proceedings, then you can counterclaim... they will either lose, or else they will settle out of court, and you would have received, lets call it.. compensation for their attitude.

 

These **** really do believe that they can do anything without regrad to any law... they think they are above all of that.

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I wonder if you have been a victim of identity theft, in spite of not living in this country. It all sounds a bit too close if the name is slightly different and they have the address of the apartment. How many other people have access to this apartment? Only a thought, but worth looking into.

BANK CHARGES

Nat West Bus Acct £1750 reclaim - WON

 

LTSB Bus Acct £1650 charges w/o against o/s balance - WON

 

Halifax Pers Acct £1650 charges taken from benefits - WON

 

Others

 

GE Money sec loan - £1900 in charges - settlement agreed

GE Money sec loan - ERC of £2.5K valid for 15 years - on standby

FirstPlus - missold PPI of £20K for friends - WON

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It's the money-grabbing **** who don't have any morals who are called DCA's (Debt Collecting Agencies), that give you this impression. I wouldnt worry about it.. just keep everything, and NEVER speak to them over the phone. More experienced people will come in to help, but one option is to send a "prove it" letter to them, or a CCA (Consumer Credit Agreement), or you can SAR them... the way to go about it is to CCA them first, and if they don't come up with a copy of the alleged agreement, then after 12 days they would have defaulted, and after 30 days they would have comitted a criminal offence. A SAR is basically a copy of ALL communication between the creditor and the debtor.

 

Keep all attempts at contacting you written down, and a record of all calls made to the number they call you on, whether you answer them or not.

 

Finally, if you write to them, NEVER sign anything, just print your name, but a "prove it" letter might shut them up for a while. I'd be inclined to leave writing to them until just before you leave the country and tell them you are leaving the country to go back to your own country.

 

They will try to get nasty, but then we will just fight back, and if it goes as far as them issuing court proceedings, then you can counterclaim... they will either lose, or else they will settle out of court, and you would have received, lets call it.. compensation for their attitude.

 

These **** really do believe that they can do anything without regrad to any law... they think they are above all of that.

Hi...Thanks so much for your input...it really helps! I have written to this DCA once and never had a reply and unfortunately each time I had a postcard mailing from them requesting to call them - I did....u mentioned never to call them or use my signature....seems both places Ive goofed, but I did not know better....just was doing what I thought was the right thing....will welcome any further suggestions from u..thanks!

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Hi Soldier100 :)

Couple of links for you - same website, but the first one is specific for you:

Identity Fraud and Identity Theft - CIFAS Online

Welcome to CIFAS Online - CIFAS Online

As Goldlady said, this sounds like identity theft. Have you asked Westcot where they got the information from?

We will not be intimidated.

'The pen is mightier than the sword'.

Petition to Outlaw Debt Sale and Purchase

- can't read/post much as eye strain's v.bad.

VIVA CAG!!! :)

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Hi...Thanks so much for your input...it really helps! I have written to this DCA once and never had a reply and unfortunately each time I had a postcard mailing from them requesting to call them - I did....u mentioned never to call them or use my signature....seems both places Ive goofed, but I did not know better....just was doing what I thought was the right thing....will welcome any further suggestions from u..thanks!

 

You weren't to know, and yes you tried to do the right thing. The problem is, these DCA's don't care about that. They just see it as a way of coercing people to give them money, whether they are entitled to it or not... greed basically. Don't bother being ethical with them, if they are not going to be ethical with you.

 

A CCA would (or should) show the signature on any paperwork, assuming you get one back. It costs £1 to obtain. Use a postal order and keep the receipt for it, and also, send it by recorded delivery keeping the receipt again (you can then check online with the Post Office to see when it was signed for, and even see a signature for recipt). That would be your first step to take. Send it to Wescott. It should stop them in their tracks, at least for a while.

 

I would also check those Identity fraud links too that Sosumi kindly posted up.

 

Regards etc.

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IMO you should report them to the police.

 

I agree, you can prove that you are not the person who owes this money but Wescot just arn't listening to you.

 

What they are doing is now approaching the stages of harassment which is a criminal offense and if you report them to the police it should stop them.

 

pete

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Hi Soldier100 :)

Couple of links for you - same website, but the first one is specific for you:

Identity Fraud and Identity Theft - CIFAS Online

Welcome to CIFAS Online - CIFAS Online

As Goldlady said, this sounds like identity theft. Have you asked Westcot where they got the information from?

Thanks for writing....I really can't see how this can be ID fraud or theft. The first name of the culprit and my name do not match...a bit like stacey and tracey...or John and Jon etc...also I was asked if I ever lived in X lane, wandsworth? I have never lived in this country...I dont own anything here dont work here...I should not even have any credit file at Experian....so that begs the question again....

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You have to convince the Police to take it seriously though. I had the harrassment situation, so I called my local police, who I must say were very good, and gave me a crime reference number. I then proceeded to make a complaint to the relevant bodies, including the phone company, who put "unknown caller rejection" on the line for free. I haven't had any problems at all since (not even a letter).

 

As it's company accomodation, would the police want to do anything about it? They might just say to get hold of the company (albeit in Singapore!!), but I agree it's gone too far now. Serious action needs to be taken.

 

Soldier, have you thought of contacting the company you represent to see if their legal department could do anything to help you? I understand that you are their representative, so they might not want to get involved, but if other people use this accomodation, it "might" cause anybody else staying there some hassle.

 

Another thing that might help is to buy a PO Box number, so that any mail goes there, but only tell the people you want to receive mail from. Anything else, you could just instruct the caretaker to write on the envelope "Not at this address" and send it back. Having said that though, I almost want this to go through the courts so you get to see them squirm and to get damages maybe from them. Not ideal, but how else will these **** be stopped from harrassing you?

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Thanks for writing....I really can't see how this can be ID fraud or theft. The first name of the culprit and my name do not match...a bit like stacey and tracey...or John and Jon etc...also I was asked if I ever lived in X lane, wandsworth? I have never lived in this country...I dont own anything here dont work here...I should not even have any credit file at Experian....so that begs the question again....

Go to the police with it Soldier. They are acting illegally. You need to know where they got their incorrect information from.

We will not be intimidated.

'The pen is mightier than the sword'.

Petition to Outlaw Debt Sale and Purchase

- can't read/post much as eye strain's v.bad.

VIVA CAG!!! :)

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You weren't to know, and yes you tried to do the right thing. The problem is, these DCA's don't care about that. They just see it as a way of coercing people to give them money, whether they are entitled to it or not... greed basically. Don't bother being ethical with them, if they are not going to be ethical with you.

 

A CCA would (or should) show the signature on any paperwork, assuming you get one back. It costs £1 to obtain. Use a postal order and keep the receipt for it, and also, send it by recorded delivery keeping the receipt again (you can then check online with the Post Office to see when it was signed for, and even see a signature for recipt). That would be your first step to take. Send it to Wescott. It should stop them in their tracks, at least for a while.

 

I would also check those Identity fraud links too that Sosumi kindly posted up.

 

Regards etc.

Thanks again Gni....I read somewhere on this Forum that if send a signed letter to the DCA then my signature can mysteriously appear on documents they send me as proof...Can this be right...I don't have the same first name as the culprit and my first name is clearly visible in my signature...I ahve also sent a stern email to there top brass. Again, I do not live or work here, I do not have any CC's issued in this country or any loans mortgage or the like ever...I should not even have a credit report in experian or whatever....Its like u having a credit report in India if u chose to visit there as a tourist??

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You have to convince the Police to take it seriously though. I had the harrassment situation, so I called my local police, who I must say were very good, and gave me a crime reference number. I then proceeded to make a complaint to the relevant bodies, including the phone company, who put "unknown caller rejection" on the line for free. I haven't had any problems at all since (not even a letter).

 

As it's company accomodation, would the police want to do anything about it? They might just say to get hold of the company (albeit in Singapore!!), but I agree it's gone too far now. Serious action needs to be taken.

 

Soldier, have you thought of contacting the company you represent to see if their legal department could do anything to help you? I understand that you are their representative, so they might not want to get involved, but if other people use this accomodation, it "might" cause anybody else staying there some hassle.

 

Another thing that might help is to buy a PO Box number, so that any mail goes there, but only tell the people you want to receive mail from. Anything else, you could just instruct the caretaker to write on the envelope "Not at this address" and send it back. Having said that though, I almost want this to go through the courts so you get to see them squirm and to get damages maybe from them. Not ideal, but how else will these **** be stopped from harrassing you?

I agree with you.....I mentioned I have a bank account and I did give the London apt. address for this purpose. Perhaps this is how this whole thing started and so Im deemed to live here. My company cannot do anything to help...its more like a guest house for the employees/people on business etc

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Thanks again Gni....I read somewhere on this Forum that if send a signed letter to the DCA then my signature can mysteriously appear on documents they send me as proof...Can this be right...I don't have the same first name as the culprit and my first name is clearly visible in my signature...I ahve also sent a stern email to there top brass. Again, I do not live or work here, I do not have any CC's issued in this country or any loans mortgage or the like ever...I should not even have a in experian or whatever....Its like u having a in India if u chose to visit there as a tourist??

 

 

Yes.. it's apparently been known to scan peoples signatures onto paperwork!! Hence, never sign. Anyway, apart from that, when it (invariably) goes the court route, they will have to, as part of procedure, provide anything they want to rely on in court to you. This would, or should I hope, show paperwork with your alleged signature on it (apart from anything you signed such as letters sent to them). It could be quite a struggle, and time-consuming, but as they allege you owe a debt, it's for them prove it. You don't have to prove your innocence. That is when the fun will start, and you should then push for the maximum damages (£1000, and at the discretion of the court). At least it will be some compensation for their attitude, although, not necessarily what you want.

 

By the way Soldier, the unkown caller rejection I spoke about earlier means that anybody who hides their number when they try to contact my number, won't get through. They get a message to that effect, and the DCA who has hassled me, hasn't twigged that all they need to do is to use their advertised number.. that's how incompetent and totally thick they are. It's common sense to most of us, but that is something they don't have.

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If you have a file with your details on EXperian, as you have no other dealings with the UK, it might be worth signing up to their 30-day trial. It will ask for a credit card number, so that you then start to pay £6.99 each month, but you can cancel that at any time, even before the first 30 days.

 

I mention it, because they are supposed to help in cases of identity fraud, so it might be worth your while signing up, to a). See what details they hold about you, b). get some help IF it is indeed identity fraud.

 

It's known that when people access their credit file in this way, it's flagged that access has taken place, and might well alert other leeches. However, as you have no other dealings in the UK, I don't think this is an issue.

 

As its a commercial enterprise, and advertising isn't allowed on CAG, I cant post the link, but I can say its called creditexpert dot co dot uk (lol), so have alook and see if you think it might help you.

 

Regards etc...

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If you have a file with your details on EXperian, as you have no other dealings with the UK, it might be worth signing up to their 30-day trial. It will ask for a credit card number, so that you then start to pay £6.99 each month, but you can cancel that at any time, even before the first 30 days.

 

I mention it, because they are supposed to help in cases of identity fraud, so it might be worth your while signing up, to a). See what details they hold about you, b). get some help IF it is indeed identity fraud.

 

It's known that when people access their credit file in this way, it's flagged that access has taken place, and might well alert other leeches. However, as you have no other dealings in the UK, I don't think this is an issue.

 

As its a commercial enterprise, and advertising isn't allowed on CAG, I cant post the link, but I can say its called creditexpert dot co dot uk (lol), so have alook and see if you think it might help you.

 

Regards etc...

Thanks! I have just done this. I registered with experion for the free trial and this is what i got...........

 

We are committed to protecting your personal information and therefore employ a rigorous identity verification system. Unfortunately, we have been unable to confirm your identity from the information you provided.

 

To ensure that we can process your order as quickly as possible, please provide us with the following proof of identity:

 

Two forms of original documentation linking you to your current address (e.g. utility bill, bank statement, solicitor's letter) dated within the past three months

 

Plus,

 

A copy of either your passport, both parts of your full (not provisional) driving licence or birth certificate

 

(These documents will be posted back to you within 4 to 5 working days.)

 

Please post this information to the following address:

 

CreditExpert Customer Service

PO Box 7710

Nottingham

NG80 7WE

 

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 656 9000 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm and Saturday, 9am to 1pm, or e-mail us on CustomerService@CreditExpert.co.uk.

 

Many thanks,

 

The CreditExpert team

 

.....The way I read this (correct me if Im wrong) is that they are unable to link me with the London address I gave ....logical ofcourse since I while I can provide copies of my passposrt and DL, they will show my correct home address in India. All utility bills etc come addressed in the name of the company that owns the apt. Even the bank statements are now sent on email.

Any further advice?.....u have indeed given me some much needed calm!...Thank a miillion!!

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Hmmm. well, Experian know you're not British. Maybe one way to speed this up is to call them when you can, explain your situation (nothing about Wescott though.. I mean, that you apparently have a credit file in the UK, but can't access it. It "could" also possibly bring the Data protection Act in now, if they refuse to give you details about you. yes, they have reasonable grounds, but they know the questions to ask, so they "should" be able to ascertain who you are).

 

Another option is to send £2 (postal order preferably, keeping receipts and proof of postage) and asking for it that way. They will either send it, or tell you you need to provide more details. If you do this, you should explain in a letter what I said above... that you apparently have a file on you, and you merely wish to check it, because of a possible problem.

 

The only other way is to get the police involved now, telling them you are being hounded and you are almost certain your identity has been stolen, and that you've tried getting your credit file, but you are problems even getting that!

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Hmmm. well, Experian know you're not British. Maybe one way to speed this up is to call them when you can, explain your situation (nothing about Wescott though.. I mean, that you apparently have a credit file in the UK, but can't access it. It "could" also possibly bring the Data protection Act in now, if they refuse to give you details about you. yes, they have reasonable grounds, but they know the questions to ask, so they "should" be able to ascertain who you are).

 

Another option is to send £2 (postal order preferably, keeping receipts and proof of postage) and asking for it that way. They will either send it, or tell you you need to provide more details. If you do this, you should explain in a letter what I said above... that you apparently have a file on you, and you merely wish to check it, because of a possible problem.

 

The only other way is to get the police involved now, telling them you are being hounded and you are almost certain your identity has been stolen, and that you've tried getting your credit file, but you are problems even getting that!

Thanks again....the issue I see here is that if indeed they have a file, it would be in the name of the real defaulter whose first name is different from mine as i mentioned before..so how can I expect to get anything from them?

 

Many thanks

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Wescott appear to think that everything adds up, although it might just be hot air from them, and total cr*p... wouldn't surprise me.

 

I see your point about if it's not you, then Experian won't give you somebody elses details, so it appears that all you can do is to go to the police and make a complaint that your identity has been stolen. They might make a fuss about it, but then, they are there to uphold the law, and should be investigating this.

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Here's a link for CIFAS Protective Registration Service:

For Individuals - CIFAS Online

At the bottom of the page there's a telephone number/email address.

We will not be intimidated.

'The pen is mightier than the sword'.

Petition to Outlaw Debt Sale and Purchase

- can't read/post much as eye strain's v.bad.

VIVA CAG!!! :)

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