What can my mother do if my cousin ran up $7,500 in phone bills in my mother’s name?

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What can my mother do if my cousin ran up $7,500 in phone bills in my mother’s name?

My cousin ran up a $7500 phone bill on my mothers home phone. The calls were made out of the country while my mother was at work. The calls were made to Nigeria. My mother does not know anyone in Nigeria or even out of the country for that matter. She has proof that she was not even home when some of the calls were made. I am pretty sure my cousin does not intend to pay as she has not contacted my mother since any of this came to light. Should my mother file a police report?

Asked on July 26, 2011 Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your mother and you need to contact your cousin about the bill and find out if the cousin made the calls. One way to confirm is to call the number in Nigeria and ask the person picking up the phone if he or she knows your cousin.

If your cousin made the calls, your cousin needs to pay the bill. If the cousin refuses to pay the bill, a legal action needs to be filed to get the money to reimburse your mother for the payment to be made.

You should call the telephone company as well about the charges to put it on notice about unauthorized use of your mother's telephone. Perhaps the telephone company may have a policy of reducing the bill in such a situation.

Good luck.


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