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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
ID stolen despite victim's caution
Credit cards
One in four people have been affected by identity fraud
The first time Clive Green, from London, knew he was a victim of identity fraud was when an automated voice on the end of a telephone told him he owed his bank 1,000.

Someone had cloned Mr Green's bank card and was withdrawing his money from cash machines in South Africa - 3,000 in total - causing him to bounce cheques and miss payments on his mortgage.

I was always very cautious. I've always made sure I keep my details with me. I never let my card go out of my sight so whenever I'm in restaurants I'm always in full view of it.

I never use my (debit) card for transactions on the internet, whenever I do that I always make sure I use a credit card so it's insured.


My mum always made sure she would cut out bits from the Daily Mail to make sure I was always up on the latest fraud or whatever was going on.

It was quite a shock when the first I knew about being a victim was the fact I got a call. It was an automated call from the bank, telling me to pay an extra 1,000 into my account because I was overdrawn.

So I phoned up and sort of explained that this has got to be some kind of mistake.

But then we looked into it and I noticed someone had managed to systematically take almost 3,000 from my account.

And when I looked at these transactions I found someone had been using my card in South Africa, which I haven't visited.

This was completely out of the blue and it suddenly became an absolute nightmare for me
Clive Green

We looked through these transactions and they would systematically take out 30 a day, sometimes as much as 100, 200, from lots of different cash machines in Johannesburg.

They had managed to do this over a fairly lengthy time.

This was completely out of the blue and it suddenly became an absolute nightmare for me.

It was actually quite shocking, because you expect your money to be safe in a bank account.

Eventually, obviously, we managed to get the card stopped and the account closed down.

Bouncing cheques

That was where the problems started. My mortgage couldn't be paid, which was coming out of the account I was using. I recently transferred the account and cheques started bouncing.

I thought it would all be sorted quite quickly. I went into the bank, they were sort of quite helpful, but they took it as very matter of fact that this is what goes on now.

No sort of advice, no sort of apologies or the sort of things you would expect when this sort of thing happens.

I kept on phoning up and nothing happened. I got a letter two weeks later saying they were looking into it and, sure enough, they managed to credit back the money that had been taken from me.

I'm trying to check to see if my credit history has been affected.

I've always made sure I've made payments on time. I've never missed a mortgage payment, and all of a sudden I'm in this terrible position, and where can you turn?

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