Local residents falsely charged for items

July 5, 2008 12:50:32 PM PDT
No one likes to be charged for purchases they didn't make or for traffic tickets they didn't deserve. But that's what happened to two local residents.

Pat Pearson of Fairfax received a traffic ticket in the mail from the city of Los Angeles for a car she no longer owned.

"I said it was not my car, what do I do? And they said we had to prove it," said Pat Pearson, Fairfax.

Records she obtained from the DMV showed she sold the car ten years ago, and that the car is now owned by someone else. She sent those records to Los Angeles and they sent her a letter back, saying she was still responsible. By now, the original $50 fine had grown to $110 and then $134 because of late fees.

"I was frustrated and very angry. So I was telling some friends about that and they said call Channel 7 and I did," said Pearson.

We called L.A.'s Department of Transportation and they quickly wiped the ticket from Pearson's record. The department blamed the problem on the DMV, saying two different DMV data bases had two different owners listed for the car. One database had it right, the other didn't.

DMV acknowledges this has been a problem for the last two years, and says its instructed everyone not to call up the faulty data base.

Bob Lockhart can laugh about it now, but he certainly wasn't laughing about it earlier. He received call, after call, after call, from internet provider People PC demanding payment for services.

"I told them that I didn't ask for People PC, I didn't want People PC," said Bob Lockhart, San Jose.

But, he continued to get billed, so 7 On Your Side called People PC. Its fraud department later discovered, it had 37 different accounts in Lockhart's name. Someone had apparently opened the accounts fraudulently.

"I'm thinking I have somebody that doesn't like me very much and they have some information about me," said Lockhart.

People PC also believes someone stole Lockhart's information.

It advises everyone never to give out credit card information in an Email and to log on to retail sites directly, and not through a link.

People PC has since reversed all charges.

"I thank you for your help," said Lockhart.


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