Why was I asked for ID to buy a mobile phone contact?

It can be very frustrating when you buy anything only to be declined or asked for more infromation like ID or proof of address. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal. Here is some handy information.

There is a very good reason for ID checks...

Mobile phones are small, valuable items that are easy to sell  and always in demand. This makes them a prime target for fraud. Mobile phone fraud is a huge issue that costs the industry millions every year.

Networks and retailers rarely talk about it in these terms – it isn’t a great message to send to potential customers, but they are all affected by unscrupulous people trying to acquire phones without paying for them. 


Don't take it personally

The security measures in place are for the benefit of all consumers, and are there to stop people having expensive contracts taken out in their name. If you have been asked for ID that doesn’t mean you are being accused of anything – the networks just have an obligation to be as thorough as possible.

Can I do anything about it?

We obviously aren’t going to tell you how to circumvent fraud checks, but there are some common sense steps you can take to help things run as smoothly as possible.

  • Check your address. If you live in a block of flats or a house with a name like “The Lodge” it can consude some address checkers. Use the same address that is written on any official letters you receive (like utility bills). You can check if you address is recognised on the Royal Mail website.
  • Check your address history carefully. Most networks ask you to provide your address for the last 3 years, and if it is not the same as on your credit records then it could slow the process down.
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