November 27th, 2007

Bank Automatons

Posted in Not the Job by 200

Have you noticed how bank & credit card companies are always telling you to be careful with your ID? You have to make sure you shred all your old statements & bills, protect your PIN numbers by never writing them down, don’t allow others to use your cash cards & never give personal information to people you don’t know. All this to protect yourself from identiy fraud.

Am I the only one who thinks it’s rather ironic that when they ring you the first thing they do, after you’ve confirmed it’s you they want to talk to, is to ask you – "for security purposes" – to divulge your date of birth?

Like they’ve found some paperwork left outside a bank in a black bag (‘cos the bank can’t be arsed to keep your details safe) and the bit which has your date of birth has been smeared with the rain, oh give him a bell and pretend your Barclaycard and just ask him to confirm his date of birth then we’re all set to take out some mortgages, loans & credit cards using his details, fantastic).

I find a good way to deal with banks & credit card companies when they say "For security purposes can you confirm your date of birth?" is to just say "No". If they ask why, just explain that you are following their advice to protect your identity from fraud attempts by refusing to divulge personal information to strangers.

This usually stymies them as they have pre-prepared scripts which they usually just read out like automatons  they’re not set up for user-interference. They have instructions not to divulge any information unless they can confirm your ID – like anyone living in your house is not going to know the top secret information about when you were born! The bank representative then has to end the call as they can’t even tell you what it’s about & you are free to get on with the decorating. Job’s a good ‘un.

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