Huge problem! Fake "free" activation!

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by elavrov, Jul 3, 2007.

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  1. elavrov macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Santo Domingo
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm from the Dominican Republic. I have a couple of phones in my house. I have one phone activated with roaming under my friend who is american and have a Social Security Number, it works just perfect.

    One of the phones my young 15 years old brother decided to activate himself without letting me know. He read on this website (macrumors.com) a method where you put a fake Social Security Number and it gives you an option to activate a phone as a pre-paid and after the activation you can cancel the pre-pay contract and still use the phone as an ipod.

    The problem is that he used my real name and my credit card and my billing address in the United States, but he made up a number for a Social Security himself and it went thru. Instead of the option to activate it as a pre-paid phone it actually was activated with a phone number from AT&T.

    Now I have a 2 years contract with AT&T linked to my Credit Card without any ways to manage the account. I have to pay, but I can't even activate the roaming or change the credit card - I can't do anything without 4 last digits of the Social Security that my brother made up, because he doesn't remember it, he says he just typed in something.

    So I have a phone that I can't use, can't sell, can't do anything about, I have a monthly plan for an iPhone that I can't use (roaming is not activated) and I have a contract with AT&T with fake Social Security Number and I don't know how bad is it and if it can affect the owner of that number somehow.

    I really don't understand how did it happen, they don't verify that name or address have to match? Or it was a glitch in a system? AT&T refuses to help me, I called like 20 times already and they are keep asking me for the last 4 digits of that Social Security. And I'm keep telling them that I don't have ANY social security and the one that they have HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, because I'm not even a citizen nor resident of the United States and that my little brother just made up a number that did go thru their verification system.

    So I'm in the Dominican Republic, without any AT&T store on this island, really don't know what to do... Any ideas?

    Another problem that happened to my friend:

    He also lives in the DR and he also tried himself to activate his phone using this method published on the macrumors.com, but instead of offering him a prepaid plan they asked him to give a call to AT&T where they told him they cannot activate his phone and he should go to the AT&T or Apple Store to solve his issue. Now his phone is locked and connecting it to the iTunes only brings the screen about more time that they need for the activation (while they already sent him an email asking to call as I described above).

    I don't know if somebody can help us with our problems, while I hope that you can publish this information on your website next to that instructions about the free activation, so other people will not get to the same troubles we've got.

    Thank you.
     
  2. elavrov thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Santo Domingo
    #2
    I've tried to call AT&T five times more. They are not offering me any solution. Kind of stupid. I'm telling them myself that the SSN is fake, I'm providing them with all info: billing, credit card, email, etc, yet they want 4 digits of FAKE SSN. CRAZY!!!
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    In the US that is called Fraud. No offense but this method of activation is plain silly and shouldn't be used.
    A 2 year contract is about the cheapest form of punishment. The SSN is no doubt not fake, it may belong to an innocent person who will suffer from this act of yours.
    Enjoy your 2 year useless contract.
     
  4. iCheddar macrumors 6502a

    iCheddar

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    South Dakota
    #4
    So...let me get this straight.

    Your 15 year old, non US citizen little brother just happened to be stateside when the iPhone came out, and happened to pick one up.

    And then... he came back to the Dominican Republic, and happened to use your name, and happened to have access to your credit card and information, and happened to make up a SSN, which by some miracle of god happened to make it past the credit check, assuming the AT&T software happened to not notice that the phone was going to a resident of the Dominican Republic, who some how happened to have a US citizen's SSN.

    And then, for some reason, the iPhone actually happened to become activated, without anyone at AT&T noticing this really odd account that just got activated.

    Riiiiiiiiight.
     
  5. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    bleep
    #5

    Exactly.
     
  6. elavrov thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Santo Domingo
    #6
    Listen, Santo Domingo is 1 hour 45 minutes away from Miami. Many people have iPhones here. You don't have to be a US citizen to buy a phone. I have 2 phones that a friend bought for me in Miami. He is american, and he have a SSN, you don't need it to buy a phone, but you need it to activate it. So the same friend did activate the phone for me and it works. The other phone was at home and my brother wanted to play with it. I have a US credit card with a US billing address (you don't need to be a US citizen to have one) and my brother knows billing address and a credit card number.

    Now - yes it looks really really unreal, but it's TRUE - he just made up a number and it did go thru AT&T credit check.

    What fraud are you talking about? It's a mistake. The method was published on the main page of macrumors.com, as soon as I realized I called to inform AT&T right away! And I still trying to get a person in AT&T who can help me. But they are ignoring me.

    And no person will suffer from my brother's stupidity. Because first of all if I will have to pay - I will pay everything I have to - I have no problem with it. Second - I will fly to Miami to AT&T store/office just for fixing this problem. I was just looking for a way to find an easier solution by doing it over the phone/fax/email since we live in 2007.

    I understand it's hard to believe on just how this can be possible, but it is possible because it just happened to me. And why do you think I'm asking how to solve this issue if I want to make some fraud? If I wanted to I would just call the bank to report a credit card as stolen and I wouldn't have to pay anything. But I don't want the real owner of the SSN to suffer from my brother's mistake and I want to fix this problem and to pay penalty if I have to.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    It is fraud to use an SSN that doesn't belong to you.
    Instructions to use a FAKE SSN in order to activate a phone shouldn't be posted anywhere.

    Yes someone will if that SSN is a valid US SSN.
    Yeah something tells me if it's a valid SSN AT&T will simply fix whatever the issue is and the high school student at the store will simply ignore the fact that the SSN MAY belong to someone else.

    Using a fake SSN that most likely belongs to someone else only hurts the owner of the SSN. Whatever happens to the person who did it is well deserved.

    Maybe you're telling the truth and what not, but I'm real sorry to hear the person who really belongs to the SSN may be in trouble for a while. I wish the very best for you because I think you may need it.
     
  8. elavrov thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Santo Domingo
    #8
    Jessica,

    What kind of problem he will have if I will finally will get to AT&T office to fix this problem? Or even if I will not be able to fix it, but I will pay for the phone for two years?

    And honestly, I don't understand why AT&T refuses to check that this SSN doesn't match with address/name.

    Thanks for wishing me the best. I punished my minor brother as I can - I took his xbox away and his cellphone too, what else can I do to him? He is 15 years old and he really didn't want to make any fraud and the fact that the SSN that he made up went thru the security check only talks bad about AT&T...
     
  9. kamiboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #9
    Cancel your credit card and that should fix things up in a jiffy. But you might want to take out the sim card from the phone before doing that, just so it does not result in your iPhone being bricked.
     
  10. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #10
    Um you need to stop posting.

    Any company that ACCEPTS a SSN that DOESN'T LINK UP with the NAME and ADDRESS, are idiots.

    AT&T can get sued for allowing this to happen.
     
  11. technicolor macrumors 68000

    technicolor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Location:
    ><><><><
    #11
    How so?

    AT&T gets their information almost exclusively from Equifax. They dont run the credit check themselves, they farm that out to a credit bureau who is responsible for those types of things and based on the information they receive they will approve you or not. AT&T is not doing the actual checking.

    What this guy did is fraud plain and simple.
     
  12. elavrov thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Santo Domingo
    #12
    Dictionary says

    Fraud
    Intentional deception resulting in injury to another, as when a person makes false statements, conceals or omits material facts.


    Not me, not my minor brother had any intention to make any problems to anybody. It's called mistake and misunderstanding of the instructions published on the public website. And I'm trying to get this thing solved. SSN was not stolen from anywhere and it's not normal that AT&T or Equifax approves SSN that doesn't match to a name/address. And I will solve this problem, so it's not a fraud. I'm actually thinking that it was a glitch of their system or mistake of their employee due to the amount of the activations they are going thru right now. It's really hard to believe for me that they don't check address or name for the SSN, it makes their system extremely unprotected. As well as the SS system itself - if it's so easy to harm anybody's credit history... So most likely it was a glitch.

    Any AT&T employees on the forum? I really don't want to take a plane just of this issue and would be really happy to solve it over the phone, even if I have to pay early activation fee or any other fee/fine that AT&T have for this cases.

    Please stop accusing me of fraud. My brother is a kid, kids do stupid things. He used his own number that he made up, without any bad intention. I take responsibility and trying to take care of it. Why so much anger instead of a good advise to help the real owner of the SSN (if this number actually exists), to help me and to help AT&T? This is why I wrote this post to this forum, to get help, not to get insulted.

    Thank you.
     
  13. vansouza macrumors 68000

    vansouza

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    #13
    *611

    For my Verizon phone I dial 611 to get to the account reps. Try that on your phone, the phone with the screwed up account. Tell them to cancel it and that you will create a new account or what ever... every one chill... sounds like the kid was going to use the 999-99-9999 SSN to create a pay as you go plan.

    Your brother needs to be punished else he will never learn.
     
  14. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #14
    That is a horse **** idea, That will only screw the person whos SSN is being used, it could be you, it could be me, and it could be ARN. Not a good idea. paying for you goof is the best route. Using another persons SSN is identity theft and is not treated as an accident. You brother did not accidentally type in a bogus SSN.

    Now to be fair, the post on the MR main page was linked to the original post and was not written by MR, also in that post it stated to use 999-99-9999. No one has that SSN. It also said that it was not something to be messed with.

    I do not understand why AT&T is not being more helpful as it sounds like you are really trying to get this set straight.
     
  15. technicolor macrumors 68000

    technicolor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Location:
    ><><><><
    #15
    Excuses. Unless you used your SSN, oops which you dont have, you and your brother committed fraud. You got lucky and it got approved, still fraud. Dont blame mac rumors, everything is at your own risk.
     
  16. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #16
    Chill guys. I don't understand why you are being so hard on him. I was suspicious too at first, but he's answered all your questions, and he's said several times he's trying to prevent any harm from happening to anyone, including the unknown guy with the SSN that got used.

    Yes it needs sorting out.

    I'm not clear why you can't just use your iPhone as normal, making calls etc. You've said it's unusable in DR for some reason, but that several guys in your town also have iPhones. Surely all these people wouldn't have gone to the effort of getting iPhones just as fashion accessories?

    Hope you learn from this to never ever leave cards and stuff and brand new iPhones where teenagers can get at them. If the billing isn't canceled, then ask your brother to pay the monthly bill - he activated it, he uses it and pays.

    Also, I dunno about the US, but here, any activation or phone plan can be cancelled if you do it quickly enough (usually within 2 weeks). You may need to return the iPhone to Apple.

    Another tip - when calling the bank and AT&T, keep your story simple. Stick to saying fraudulent activation, or that you made a mistake when typing in your SSN, and you didn't understand the terms and didn't understand that it wasn't usable in DR.

    Try not to make it complicated.
     
  17. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #17

    That fixes nothing. Charges for scheduled monthly payments will continue to go through and will keep the card alive until the charges stop.


    At any rate:

    1) Your brother 14, a minor, is not competent to make a contract. That alone should make the contact invalid.

    2) Your brother, presumably without your knowledge, or permission, activated the phone. YOUR liability could be removed by that action.

    3) ALL ATT phone contracts can be canceled with no cancellation fee, if done within 30 days of the activation.

    Get and adult, preferably a man w/ a deep voice, to call up, speak w/ someone w/ authority to do something, and explain the situation. You have plenty of legal outs.
     
  18. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #18
    Its fraud. He knew he didn't have a SSN and he used it anyway. If we was in the US, we would be going to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, straight to the clink.

    Using someone else's SSN can affect their credit rating.

    PS. SSN's aren't tied to any address or name. The only people that know the name-SSN connection is the US government.

    As others have said, cancelling your credit card is the best option.
     
  19. marksman macrumors 603

    marksman

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    #19
    Yeah you both did actually. You got phones under false pretenses and intentionally provided false information in order to activate the phone. They didn't ask you for some US billing address when you signed up they asked for your physical address. You know what you were doing was wrong but did it anyways.

    I agree with Jessica, the idea of people putting in random or false social security numbers is a bad idea. Doesn't matter what AT&T checks or not, doing that is a bad idea, and telling others to do it is a bad idea.

    You may not feel like you committed fraud, but try to weasel out of this now and I suspect AT&T would feel much differently.




    So if someone on BankRumors told you to go to the bank and apply for a loan and use a fake social security number and some mail drop address where you did not live, to apply for a bank loan... That would just be a misunderstanding and not fraud?


    When you set up YOUR phone you committed fraud. Before your brother committed fraud more poorly then you and roped you into being discovered.
     
  20. Dermot81 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #20
    The fake SSN used in the post was all 0s I thought? Or all 1s or something?

    So you can't really blame the macrumors post for this. Your brother just put in a random sequence of 9 numbers, which probably is someone's SSN

    Still, I think you need to be persistent in explaining the situation to an AT&T rep, until you get it sorted out. If you sit on it, then the window in which you can cancel your plan and not incur a cancellation fee might pass.
     
  21. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #21

    Uh, yes, each SSN is tied to a specific name. Your SSN is your SSN. And every credit reporting agency and every company or organization you've ever given your SSN to, for whatever reason, insurance, school, job, so and and so on can link your SSN to your name and vice versa. A LOT of organizations have access to link your name w/ your SSN other than the government.
     
  22. thomasfxlt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #22
    You need to contact AT&T legal in writing. This may take some time, but with good written documentation stating what you've stated here, you may make some progress. AT&T uses the last 4 digits of your social as the "gatekeeper" for all "over-the-phone" discussion/transaction on your account. You'll get nowhere with them without it.

    I seriously doubt there was any information on this site regarding the use of "fraudulent" information to activate an account. Using someone's else's social security number is clearly illegal and anyone, including a 14 year old that would do it, is deserving of the consequences.

    Frankly, I think you did this, and there is no 14 year old brother.
     
  23. paulyras macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Singapore
    #23
    This is by far the most intelligent post on this thread. If you explain to AT&T that they just entered into a cell phone contract with a minor, and obviously didn't match the name to the SSN, I would think you could get out of it fairly easily. There are a lot of reasons that, knowing those two facts, AT&T would want to nullify the contract very very quickly and pretend it never happened.

    Also, the contract can certainly be canceled, probably with no early termination fee at this point. If you were in the states, you could even still return it for a 10% restocking fee.

    Lastly, while I understand people's frustration with someone having used a fake SSN, please cut this guy a break. It was his kid, who arguably should have known better, but may not have appreciated the significance of a SSN. At this point, the original poster is mainly trying to make the best of a bad situation.

    It's not like he's asking how to get a fake credit card number- he just wants to be able to use the iPhone as an iPod, which it sounds like many other people have posted about, without people jumping down their throats.

    Oh, and by the way, 999-99-9999 is a fake SSN also. If you all want to really freak out about wire fraud, go over to those threads, and lay off this guy who's primarily trying to fix things.

    Sorry, I just woke up, and haven't had my coffee.
     
  24. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #24
    I'm not totally sure that this 'minor' or 'younger brother' even exists.

    I made a suggestion earlier about mentioning 'fraudulent activation' - I now realise that was a mistake - it will get the law involved and all sorts of nasty questions will get asked and you'll be in an even more sticky spot (assuming your brother exists and that you don't want to get him in trouble).

    I suggest the same as the poster above. I also suggest ringing AT&T and saying the following slowly and clearly:

    ' I am very stupid. I have made a mistake and completely buggered things up. Can you help me please?'
     
  25. marksman macrumors 603

    marksman

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    #25
    The kid being a minor doesn't make any difference. The contract has no standing because they are in the Domican Republic.

    That is kind of the point people seem to be missing though. The whole thing was fraudulent from the get-go.

    Enough with the people defending him. The whole thing is of his own making. And it is fraud. You can't sugar-coat it with his intentions. What he has described here across the board was fraudulent.

    By the way I bet his credit card company would appreciate knowing he does not live in the US either. That is not some convenience feature to get a credit card, he fraudulently set that up as well. This guys life revolves around committing fraud.
     
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