Credit Cards

Fighting a fraudulent account with AMEX to no avail

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  • Sep 28th, 2020 6:23 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Jan 16, 2018
12 posts
7 upvotes

Fighting a fraudulent account with AMEX to no avail

So someone opened an account with AMEX Canada under my name and apparently was even making payments on the account. I called AMEX and the police as soon as I noticed the account on my credit reports, police said it was clearly fraud but AMEX fought back tooth and nail claiming they had enough evidence to proof it was mine. I sent over 30 formal letters disputing the account and asking for the proof of account, to each time only to receive a reply saying they won't discuss accounts with someone other than the account holder?????

I have escalated this to the highest department inside of AMEX as well as The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments all to no avail. I'm asking the forum for any advice on what next I should do? The account was removed from both Equifax and Transunion as it is clearly not mine so I'm not really concerned about it hurting my score as much as I am of the fact that AMEX will consider this my debt forever unless I can prove otherwise.
15 replies
Member
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Dec 8, 2013
363 posts
150 upvotes
British Columbia
Is it possible that it was someone with the exact name and Amex at first got the credit file mixed up? If it's not attached to your credit as per Equifax or TU then for all intents and purposes it is another person's account.

If bills are being paid and it's not attached to your credit, there shouldn't be anything for you to worry about. Even IF the bills weren't being paid, if it's not attached to your credit you don't have much to worry about.
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Nov 25, 2004
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London
what if u call amex and use the report a lost or stolen card option that would at least get the account locked down temp. see if u can get the replacement card mailed to u. once u have the card in hand see if u can do a reset on the online login info so u can get into it then figure out what the details are then call them up and use the details from the online portal and call them up to close the account.

also if none of the info u have other then the name match such as address date of birth phone number ect what is this evidence they have that says its your account. maybe speak with the fraud dept at ur police dept and see if they can contact amex and ask to see this so called evidence.

few other things u could try. file a complaint though the bbb. contact some local news stations radio newspaper tv ect some of them will have contacts at these companies who they can reach out to who are will to deal with c/s issues to make sure a story don't get wrote on the company. one i know of is Ellen@EllenRoseman.com she is retired but she still helps people out so try her out and see if she can help.
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Sep 13, 2004
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if your source is your credit report via equifax/transunion I would say do a audit of your credit file, this likely doesnt have anything to do with AMEX. What you are most likely seeing as someone mentioned above is someone with a similar name that may have gotten mixed into your profile (yes it happens) or you may have multiple profiles which may require merging/cleaning. AMEX isnt letting you into the account because its a legitimate account belonging to someone else - fraud accounts typically dont get paid.

With both bureaus there is a dispute option where you can update/merge/remove things that may or may not belong to you. Contrary to popular belief both equifax and transunion are TRASH - they do a $hit job of managing our data and our credit files yet we rely on them to hold our credit safe. Lets not even get into the call centers where the call quality is shit and csr's can barely speak/understand English. Once you do the dispute and clear up your file it will remove the AMEX. I am assuming thats why AMEX isnt letting you into the account because its actually a legitimate account of someone elses. The process takes a bout 1-2 months to complete - the actual dispute can be done in a day over a phone call. The time is required to get a copy of your file, snail mailing or faxing your documents and waiting for their response. In the end the bureau will update your profile but wont correct/modify your credit rating due to the mistakes on their end either. It's a shitty process but it works, good luck.
"The first rule of RFD is, you do not talk about RFD."
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Jan 24, 2008
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There already been lots of good advice given to the OP and I'll add my 2 cents worth. If payments are being made then it's doubtful that there's anything shady going on. Are the bills being mailed or emailed to you?

As others have said, get credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax and see what they have on file for you. There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for what's going on, either some sort of mixup and/or there really is someone else out there with the same name as you. Heck, I know there's someone who lives not too far away who has the same name as me and for all I know also has an account with American Express.

It will probably take some time to sort it out. The best thing to do is to be calm, patient and courteous to the people you'll need to deal with to resolve this, but also persistent. If you can do that, you'll get your problem resolved as fast as possible. Also, be sure to document everything you're doing to try to resolve this just in case you need that information later on.

One time I had an ongoing issue with a company that wasn't resolved by customer service despite my repeated complaints. What I did next was to directly contact the CEO with documented proof of what was happening and it was amazing what happened next. Every single person in the chain of command from the senior VP, regional VP, etc. down to the local manager contacted me to apologize and assured me that they would see to it that the problem was resolved. And it was, right away.
I am not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
Banned
May 3, 2020
77 posts
73 upvotes
@CalgaryRunner :

This is common where fraudsters will open accounts and make a few payments to make it seem legit.
The final straw is when they go and withdraw the final and biggest amount that they can.

Especially with a no limit Amex. The way to fool the system is to start and make it seem legit. Then you finally go in with a $30k worth of purchases and cash out limits.

to the OP:
Have you spoken to someone on the phone?
You said you sent lots of documents in. Try speaking to someone.
Do you have a contact at the police ?
Can you get the police to send in a notice?
There’s gotta be a way to speak to someone rationale

Don’t let this sit because I suspect they are doing exactly what I am saying above.


Source:
I worked in banking fraud department
Last edited by Jimmykirky on Sep 28th, 2020 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jan 24, 2008
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Then I stand corrected. Regardless, the OP needs to get to the bottom of it to determine whether it is fraud or not, and being patient and courteous but persistent goes a long way towards achieving that.
I am not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
Banned
May 3, 2020
77 posts
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CalgaryRunner wrote: Then I stand corrected. Regardless, the OP needs to get to the bottom of it to determine whether it is fraud or not, and being patient and courteous but persistent goes a long way towards achieving that.
sorry I edited my post I came off as a jerk. Just writing in haste and not trying to be mean just right to the facts
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Jimmykirky wrote: sorry I edited my post I came off as a jerk. Just writing in haste and not trying to be mean just right to the facts
No worries, I didn't take it personally but thanks for editing your post. You're just trying to help the OP and that's the most important thing.
I am not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
Newbie
Dec 31, 2013
43 posts
21 upvotes
Westchester Station
The exact same thing happened to me a couple years ago- I got no where- sent in so many times the same requested documents and I still constantly have to dispute my credit reports as it will come up on them- it's exhuasting....
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
8556 posts
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Markham
OP, i am wondering Whether this is just bureaus mess up

You said "receive a reply saying they won't discuss accounts with someone other than the account holder????? ". So clearly AMEX doesn't think it's you because you are not cardholder, so they know it's someone else. Probably for them, you are the one who tried to get others information

I am thinking might be it's when they report to bureau, bureau thought it's you and added new trade in your file.

Could you clarify how you found this account? From bureau alert or you found it in amex online?
Member
May 26, 2009
447 posts
547 upvotes
Calgary
BrianW376198 wrote: So someone opened an account with AMEX Canada under my name and apparently was even making payments on the account. I called AMEX and the police as soon as I noticed the account on my credit reports, police said it was clearly fraud but AMEX fought back tooth and nail claiming they had enough evidence to proof it was mine. I sent over 30 formal letters disputing the account and asking for the proof of account, to each time only to receive a reply saying they won't discuss accounts with someone other than the account holder?????

I have escalated this to the highest department inside of AMEX as well as The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments all to no avail. I'm asking the forum for any advice on what next I should do? The account was removed from both Equifax and Transunion as it is clearly not mine so I'm not really concerned about it hurting my score as much as I am of the fact that AMEX will consider this my debt forever unless I can prove otherwise.
I bolded the two key items that make me think this isn't an issue. It is no longer on either of your credit reports and Amex won't discuss with you because it is not your account.

I suspect that it was an error that accidentally had it linked with you and that error has now been corrected. It may have been your prior activity that caused them to fix the problem.

If I were in your situation, I would just continue monitoring your credit report on a regular basis and do nothing more unless it reappears. I suspect it will not reappear.
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May 16, 2017
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jtfrogger wrote: I bolded the two key items that make me think this isn't an issue. It is no longer on either of your credit reports and Amex won't discuss with you because it is not your account.

I suspect that it was an error that accidentally had it linked with you and that error has now been corrected. It may have been your prior activity that caused them to fix the problem.

If I were in your situation, I would just continue monitoring your credit report on a regular basis and do nothing more unless it reappears. I suspect it will not reappear.
I'd tend to agree - I do think AMEX may have made an initial mistake "but AMEX fought back tooth and nail claiming they had enough evidence to proof it was mine. " but as it is no longer reported on the credit bureaus and there is no other evidence of fraud (a matching name alone doesn't indicate fraud) there is really nothing more to do. The correspondence history should do very nicely if it ever does turn out to be fraud.

I've had HBC (The Bay), a hotel, and collection agencies come after me due to fraud or fleeing bad debt by someone either impersonating me or confusion over similar name - was resolved without major hassle - just be crystal clear and unemotional around the facts - don't allege or confuse the issue by putting in assumptions or details which aren't verifiable.
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Dec 5, 2006
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robsaw wrote: I'd tend to agree - I do think AMEX may have made an initial mistake "but AMEX fought back tooth and nail claiming they had enough evidence to proof it was mine. " but as it is no longer reported on the credit bureaus and there is no other evidence of fraud (a matching name alone doesn't indicate fraud) there is really nothing more to do. The correspondence history should do very nicely if it ever does turn out to be fraud.

I've had HBC (The Bay), a hotel, and collection agencies come after me due to fraud or fleeing bad debt by someone either impersonating me or confusion over similar name - was resolved without major hassle - just be crystal clear and unemotional around the facts - don't allege or confuse the issue by putting in assumptions or details which aren't verifiable.
What I don't understand is how could amex said it's you but on the other hand, you are not account holder?

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