'It could've easily escalated': Vancouver man confronted by iPhone scammer at home
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 6:41PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2019 8:51AM PDT
An East Vancouver father is warning others that a con artist who tried to leave him on the hook for thousands of dollars went as far as confronting him at the front door of his home to get his hands on two pricey iPhone X models scammed days earlier.
Minutes after a UPS courier delivered a package and warned him that a man with fake photocopied identification had tried to intercept the package a block from his home, Michael Hickey says a tall thin man confronted him at his front door demanding a package and claiming he should’ve received it instead, despite having Hickey’s name and address on the label. Two iPhones from Rogers were inside, though Hickey had never ordered them.
"This person came right to the house, it wasn't a (simple) online fraud and it could've easily escalated to something else,” said Hickey.
The father of an elementary school-aged son is worried the boy or Hickey’s wife could’ve been confronted by the man who’d aggressively claimed the box with $2,400 worth of electronics. Hickey had been on the phone with his cellphone providers at the time trying to figure out why the phones had been sent to his home and managed to lock the man out and take a photo. He left shortly after.
"After a bunch of discussions with Rogers and a significant amount of fighting with them I was able to listen to the phone call recording where they had allowed all my accounts to be changed, including the passcode,” said Hickey. “They also ordered the phones in my name.”
“We are very sorry about this customer’s experience,” Rogers said to CTV News in an email statement.
The wireless company says their customer fraud unit was engaged and an investigation initiated into the alleged identity theft and phone order, finding their security protocols were followed and that their customer support agent had every reason to believe the caller was indeed Hickey.
Rogers would not let CTV News review the recording, wherein Hickey claims the caller couldn’t provide either his birthdate nor current passcode. He also says he heard the agent give Hickey’s home address to the fraudster even though he didn’t have it.
The company says they’ve spoken with the agent about doing a better job following “internal protocols” and point out that “fraudsters use constantly evolving techniques to try and take advantage of consumers across the wireless industry.”
Rogers is encouraging customers to use a Voice ID security measure as they, “continually strengthen our security measures and verification procedures to protect our customers against fraudulent activity.”
Hickey isn’t satisfied with how the company handled his complaint, especially his initial interactions where he says a customer service representative accused him of trying to get away with something and demanded he return the phones.
But Hickey had already turned them over to Vancouver police, in addition to the photo of the crook. Police are now pursuing a fraud investigation as a result of his report last month.
“Fraud investigations can be complex, and they do take time,” said VPD Const. Steve Addison in an email. “This particular incident is still under investigation. For that reason I’m not in a position to provide specific details about this case.”
He added they have no reason to believe this incident is connected to any other frauds in the city.
As Hickey leaves Rogers for a new cellular provider, he has high praise for the alert UPS driver who refused to give up a package to the crook. In an ironic twist, a package full of cutting-edge technology made its way to its intended recipient only because that driver knew and personally recognized Hickey and his address from frequent Amazon purchases.
“If it wasn’t for him, no one would’ve believed me,” he said.