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WA Unauthorised Use of My Name - Illegal under Criminal Law?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by SarahC, 21 October 2015.

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  1. SarahC

    SarahC Member

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    Just a quick background, I will try to keep it short.

    I own my own house and used to rent a room to a friend and his girlfriend. I have recently moved into my partner's house and have allowed my friend to continue to rent my house. I did not bother to get a lease agreement or anything like that. Long before I moved out, the dishwasher died at that time I was not interested in repairing it nor did I have the money.

    When I did move out, my mate asked if I would be replacing the dishwasher. I did not have then money and I view the dishwasher as a non essential item so I answered no. I have just received a text from an electrical company asking me - using my full name - to confirm an appointment to install a new dishwasher at my premises. I called this company to enquire and, according to them I called and booked the install (which I most certainly did not). They were given my name and phone number.

    I have since found out that a new dishwasher was purchased and paid for from a white goods store and my name was used in this transaction also. I have now spoken to my 'friend' and he openly admitted to using my name and details at the white good store and at the electrical company. He said he thought I would be ok with it. He paid for the dishwasher himself but assumed I would refund him this money. Also I would have been billed for the installment had I not cancelled it upon receiving the text.

    I want to know if what he did was illegal under Criminal Law and what kind of action I could take if he was to do this again. I am not interested in legal action right now as purchasing a dishwasher is not a terrible crime but I am worried that he may do it again with something more costly and next time I won't catch it until it is too late.

    I would like to know the facts so that I can confront him and tell him that what he did was illegal and that if it happens again.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi SarahC,

    Obviously not knowing all the fine details of the situation it's difficult to say with any certainty whether what he did constituted an illegal act or not. But there is a possibility it could be either fraud: (which can be defined as: inducing a course of action, by deceit or other dishonest conduct, with the intent to obtain money or other benefit) or identity theft (which does not just involve the theft of financial or credit card details).

    However in terms of civil law, a person can only bind you to a contract with another person legally if they are your agent - with express or implied authority to enter into the contract on your behalf. Therefore if someone had ordered something under your name and you subsequently received the bill for the said thing, you could defend yourself on the basis that the other person did not have authority to enter into the contract on your behalf.
     

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