A Wales primary school teacher is counting losses after a thief snatched his phone and used it to make calls amounting to £15,000. The incident occurred when Osian Rhys Edwards was on holiday in Barcelona in August 2014. The gadget was used to make calls to premium numbers which charge £20 per minute.
While the victim says that he called Vodafone immediately to report the incident, the service claims that it cannot find any records of communication with him at the time of the incident and therefore demands that he should cover for the charges. Mr. Edward says that he cannot pay the sum even if he wanted to. He laments that the issue might also impede his dream of owning a house since no financial institution will be willing to give him mortgage if a default notice is posted on his credit file.
This is just one of the many people who fallen victims to thieves in the US
Though left with one of the heaviest bills, the 29 year old teacher is not the first victim of this nature of crime that has spiralled in Barcelona over the recent years. There are many reported cases of tourists in Catalan losing their devices to thieves who spend 3 to 6 hours siphoning funds by calling expensive premium rate numbers. The most prominent one is Georgia Harris whose phone went missing in the same town only to wake up the next day to a £21,000 call billing.
Mobile phone users by law assume all the responsibility over anything that is done through them. When a phone is stolen, the owner is required to report immediately to their service provider. According to existing laws, any burden as a result of transaction or communication that that is done through a sim card between the time of its disappearance up to the moment a user reports to the data service provider is supposed to be borne by the owner.
Many people who have found themselves in such situations usually pay up for fear of the repercussions. No bank would be willing to lend you a coin if at any notice of credit unworthiness.
However, Edwards' claim that he communicated with customer desk immediately after the incidence should be taken seriously and if possible subjected to independent investigation. He might have been a victim of fraud but if he really made a timely report then maybe Vodafone should take responsibility for negligence. #Smartphone