Level 4: Private Eye

Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

Telstra have taken years off my life...


Despite living in metropolitan Perth (and without going into too much detail) for 17 years we have suffered appalling service from Telstra: a landline which operates sporadically, no internet through our landline (for being on an antiquated pair-gain system), poor mobile reception, expensive wireless internet service and so on.


To cap this all we have been receiving billls for someone who purports to share our surname and reside at our address- somoeone we have never heard of and someone who has NEVER lived at this address. Quite obviously this is fraudulent- I would have thought that Telstra would require positive ID before opening an account? I have lost count of the times that I have spoken to my Telstra 'friends' in the Phillipines who have advised me that this would be sorted and I should be receiving no more accounts for this person. I wrote to Telstra on the 23rd of February 2017 and received no reply. Tesltra, and their debt hounds, Dun and Bradstreet, continued to send mail addressed to this person at my address. I wrote to the General Manager of Telstra on the 4th of April 2017 with a copy of the earlier letter and I sent this to Telstra by registered post. Telstra has not extended the courtesy of replying to my letters and today another bill turned up adressed to this person. Needless to say another waste-of-time call to Telstra in the Phillipines has failed to sort anything- they are either incapable or unwilling of transferring me to someone in accounts, in authority, here in Australia. Aside all of this I do not want my name sullied or my credit-standing affected by the fraudulent activities of others (and the ongoing incompetence of Telstra).


I am fed-up to the back teeth with having to waste so much of my time dealing with MORE Telstra nonsense... my house is shortly to go on the market and I can promise that I will never buy another that does not give me the option of subscribing to a telecom other than Telstra!


I will now send a third letter to the General Manager of Telstra....

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Level 20: Director

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

Hi Tarsel,  If I were in your situation, I would be taking my case up with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, see:




I trust that you have kept copies of all the correspondence, and any "Chat" transcriptions, these might be useful.


Best of luck - sorry I can not give more definitive advice here, we are people just like you and have no access to individual account details.


(I would have thought that all pair gain systems would be gone by now - that makes it hard😟)

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Palpatine has participated in Social Media accreditation through Telstra and has access to some enhanced support and escalation processes. Palpatine is not a Telstra employee and any posts or opinions are entirely his own.
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

Hi Taesel, 


This is not the service we wish to provide and I apologise for your recent issues. It would be best to assign a case manager so we can look into this and have them give you a call. We can arrange this here for you:




This would be the best way to have this resolved. Sorry for any inconvenience or frustration this may have caused you.



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Level 4: Private Eye

Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence.... more!

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence.... more!

Message text is below:


"See my earlier post of ‎28-04-2017 "Account fraud and Telstra's incompetence"

Now....further developments:
Eventually (after 3 letters to the General Manager of Telstra, 2 of which were sent by registered post) I had the courtesy of a reply from Telstra. Telstra advise that identity theft is very common when it comes to opening an account with them. As a consequence, and to investigate my complaint that someone is using my surname and address as theirs, Telstra advises that they would require from me, I quote:


  • A Statutory Declaration outlining the details of your claim
  • 3 forms of ID (one must be photographic identification displaying your full name, photograph and signature)
  • Any police events
  • A document proving that the address on the correspondence was the your (sic) place of residence at the time the service was activated (E.g. Lease Agreement, Rates Notice or Letter of Authorisation signed by the owner with utility bill underthe (sic) owners name, Utility Bill)


ARE THESE PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR TINY COTTON PICKIN' MINDS? I have had an account with Telstra for well over 30 years and they require ME to go such lengths to prove who I am and do not accept my claim that someone who I have never heard of and who claims to have my surname and live at my home address (I being a Telstra client at this address for the past 17 years) is fraudulently using same? It is through Telstra's inadequate scrutiny that they have allowed the fraudulent use of my name and address in the first place.


The fraudster was being sent demands for unpaid Telstra bills from Dun and Bradstreet to our address. The letter from Telstra dated 26 April advised that Telstra had been advised by Dun and Bradstreet that they had ceased to send this 'person' any further demands to my address. Guess what... they keep on coming! We have since had another 2 'final demands' from the Telstra bloodhounds.


One concern I had was that this episode might deleteriously reflect on my credit standing albeit that this had nothing to do with me. Once again Telstra suggests that I need to take the initiative and contact them on 132200 "to discuss the matter further to ensure that there are no ramifications to your address due to these circumstance" (sic). BOLLOCKS TELSTRA- YOU sort this out and woe betide your lousy organisation should I discover that this DOES have an effect on my credit standing.


As an aside to this I couldn't ring Telstra at the moment anyway- it rained recently so we have no landline (oh and a patchy mobile service at home!). It'll dry out soon and the landline will come back on- it’s not worth ringing my helpful friends in the Phillipines, a waste of time and this is the third-world Telstra service I have endured for 17 years- and I'm in metro Perth!


I went into a Telstra shop nearby and the sales person there changed the address of this fraudulent person to ensure, at least, that I wouldn't receive any more mail from Testra themselves addressed to this person. They said that, in that the name was different to mine, it could have no bearing on my credit standing. I hope he is right.

On the 4th July I wrote to the Telstra respondent (again by registered post) to advise that I was still getting mail from Dun & Bradstreet addressed to the faudster using my surname and address despite assurances that this would not happen any more. I have heard nothing since.

Guess what? Today yet ANOTHER demand arrived in the post from D&S...."

I am a Complex Customer Service Specialist, nominally working with most assurance products. However, I am not an official representative on CrowdSupport.

IT Helpdesk and Technicial Support by Telstra Platinum
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Support Team
Support Team

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence.... more!

Hi @tarsel


To confirm, did you need up submitting a complaint as per the link Iain provided you with?

Upon submitting, you'll be provided with a reference that looks similar to SR 1-XXXXXXXXXXXXX. You can expect contact within 2 business days & we'll aim to resolve within 10 business days.


Did you submit this when offered?


If so, I expect you would have a reference for it. Can you let me know what it is?



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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence.... more!

Other than at least 4 letters to Telstra and heaven-knows how many chats with Telstra, Phillipines, I have not submitted a complaint which gives me a reference similar to SR 1-XXXXXXXXXXXXX. I thought the channels I had used should have sufficed.

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence.... more!

Thanks for getting back to us Tarsel. We agree, the channels used should have been suffice in resolving your concerns, however, this still remains an issue and if we cannot resolve it via normal channels, the next step is to escalate via formal complaint. 


So we can have a case manager assigned to you and have this matter resolve, we recommend lodging a complaint and getting back to us with the SR reference.

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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence.... more!

OK... I have taken Telstra's advice and written a 'formal' complaint. I have not, as yet, received a reply email with the 'SR reference' but, doubtless, it will appear in due course and I will post it here when, and if, it arrives.


The details I advised Telstra of were:


My complaint?


17 years of issues relating to my home service. Good thing I was brought up in East Africa where the phone service operates intermittently because we have had 17 years of 3rd world service from our telcom. I have reams of correspondence including letters to your former CEO, Sol Truhillo, years ago. The hours I have been on the phone to Telstra, Phillipines would cumulatively add up to DAYS. We recently contacted Telstra about another outage and when the technician checked it was working but literally 10 minutes later it wasn't, and then it was... and then it wasn't. If it's very wet it stops... or if it's very hot... or very cold. Nothing is EVER done bar a quick patch-up job. We live in metro Perth but, because we and our 3 neighbours are on an antiquated pair-gain system only 2 (but not us) get ADSL through our landline. WE have to pay exorbitant rates for a mobile internet service to afford the necessary means to provide an education for our children and to be able to run a business from home. We are planning on selling up and moving SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE REVOLTING SERVICE WE HAVE SUFFERED FROM YOUR ORGANISATION. I have wasted too much of my life trying to get something like an acceptable service from you.


To cap this all I have recently had another battle following some fraudster using my surname and my address for which they have, of course, defaulted (following which we received a number of threatening letters addressed to this person from your bloodhounds, Dun & Bradstreet) and it has taken the usual mass of correspondence (usually not responded to by Telstra- only ever responded to once you had received correspondence by registered post) and phone calls to sort out. I simply cannot wait for the day when I no longer have to use your company as my telcom provider.

Incidentally my home phone is currently dead (but, who knows, it may work tomorrow... the forecast is for fine weather!).


What is the outcome you would like? (TELSTRA'S QUESTION)


If you need ME make some suggestions out based on the above then I would assume you might have outsourced more than just your Call Centre!

One thing I can assure you is that we will not be paying one cent for our home phone for July and, if you don't like that, then you can cut off my phone service... we wouldn't notice the difference!

Level 1: Cadet

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

I have just found out I have been the subject of a fraudulent Telstra account being set up in my name. I am not a Telstra customer and never have been. A debt collection company is now contacting me about a debt for an account I never set up. After speaking to the complaints call centre (which sound like it is based somewhere in Asia) I established that this account was set up without matching a valid ID or address to me. Shocking! Now the call centre wants me to send them all these different docs verifying my ID and address, but frankly I don't trust Telstra's data handling of these important personal documents and I especially don't want them going overseas unencrypted. If you do a google search of 'Telstra' 'ID' ''Fraud' there are lots of hits, including an article by news.com.au in June 2017 and the ABC in July 2017. This serious problem caused by Telstra's poor account set up processes are very damaging to innocent individuals and appear widespread.
Level 4: Private Eye

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

Yet another example of Telstra's inadequacy in confirming a client's identity before opening an account.


Letters to Telstra demanding action were a waste of time... it took my having to send 2 letters by registered post to the CEO of Telstra before I even got a reply of any kind!


You were probably asked to send in a Statutory Declaration plus several other documents to prove who YOU are?... ABSURD!!


I was damned if I was going to go to all this trouble for something NOT of my making. Besides this my concern, in that someone was fraudulently  using my surname and my address, was that potentially the default in payment of this account could impact on MY credit worthiness.


The simplest solution is to go to a Telstra shop and get them to sort this out which they managed to do in 10 minutes (after I'd waited 15 minutes to be served!). They assured me that, without actually bearing my exact name, there was no prospect that default of this account would have any bearing on MY credit rating.


Telstra need to initiate a more rigorous client identity process before opening an account (like the banks do) to prevent you and I having to put up with all this b/s!


Good luck!




Level 1: Cadet

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

Yes, they told me I needed to get a statutory declaration signed and a police report. However, I am not aware any ID theft took place as my correct driver's licence and passport number were not used to set up this fraudulent account - so why involve the police and use up precious police resources Telstra? Sort out your identity checking processes Telstra and stop inconveniencing innocent individuals. I will be making a complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner. $1.7 million fines can now be imposed for the mishandling of personal information, if enough people complain , perhaps the Information Commis
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

sioner will take some action. Maybe only a severe financial penalty will get Telstra to take this seriously.
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Account Fraud and Telstra's incompetence

Whilst it's understandably frustrating to have gone through this, by your own account, you have made it far worse for yourself by not following good advice and support processes set up to assist customers in this situation.


The reason why Telstra needs to validate your identity is to further reduce any further account issues.

At this point, they only have your word for it that you are who you say you are. For all they know, you could be a vindictive brother who rents the property from you. Or a prankster who is setting you up for a massive credit blackmark. The examples are inexhaustible, but the fact remains that Telstra is actually looking after YOU by insisting on these documents. 


Yes, they're also looking after themselves too, legally, but this measure protects you from further malfeasance. Given someone has already done so in your name, why are you angry that they double-checking this time ?

In fact, you insist they do: 'Telstra need to initiate a more rigorous client identity process before opening an account"


Furthermore, waiting three months to follow the advice from one of the reps to get an SR number will not have helped progress your case, and certainly doesn't help the General Manager when he/she tries to find your request in the system.


Here's what you should do (or should have done), in this order:

  • Call in to the correct complaint area, state your predicament and get a SR number
  • Get the required documents signed by a JP, along with a Stat Dec
  • Send the documents via tracked post
  • Call back, and update the SR with the tracking details
  • If you receive no response after a decent wait, call in again requesting an update.
  • If you're getting no progress, THEN write a letter to the General Manager, along with the SR number, and the postage tracking number. State how long the issue has been, and request that they communicate with the debt collection agency to suspend proceedings.
  • Should there be no progress or communication back, escalate to the TIO

Bar the last step, you've actually done all these steps already, just in the wrong order. 


As mentioned before, it is incredibly frustrating and stressful to be made responsible for someone elses fraudulent activity, but in the situation of a potential account integrity breach, there's additional safeguards in place to make sure the situation does not escalate even further out of control for both yourself and Telstra.





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