Phone fraud: Cradley Heath businessman gets £6.5k bill

Andy Lindop with bill
Mr Lindop received bills as well as demands from debt collection firms

A businessman has called for phone firms to do more to tackle identity fraud after his companies were targeted.

Andy Lindop, of Cradley Heath, received bills for thousands of pounds after his companies' details were used to buy phones which were then sold on.

It included a bill for more than £6,500 from O2 which he said had "made a bad experience much, much worse".

O2 apologised and said it had closed down a "fraudulently set-up account".

Mr Lindop said it took too long for firms to act and the situation was stressful and had affected his credit rating.

"Literally I've spent hours and hours and hours on telephone conversations to be given nothing," he said.

Mr Lindop, who has three businesses including a van dealership, began getting correspondence from several mobile phone companies three months ago.

It was after someone quoting his details had been into several High Street phone shops to buy handsets they later sold on.

Mr Lindop spent weeks trying to sort out the problem and convince firms it was not him who had taken out the contracts.

"It's getting me down now if the truth be told and I'm worried it's going to impact on my business," he said.

He had also gone into an O2 branch with his passport and driving licence but his concerns were not taken seriously, he added.

Letter about bill
He got one bill for more than £6,500 after the scam

He said phone companies must tighten up their protocols and procedures to prevent more cases like his.

He added he was "quite thick-skinned" but was worried about the effect such fraud could have on someone more vulnerable who may not know how to deal with it.

O2 apologised and confirmed there was no outstanding balance owed.

"We always aim to take swift action and we apologise that it took longer than it should have to close down the account," it said.

Fraud is now the most common crime in the UK, with one in 15 people falling victim and the telecoms sector a particular target.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: