jfs: (Default)
You know, I think the banks are a lot to blame for phishing phone calls and emails.

They tell us that we shouldn't give out details of our account, or our security questions without knowing who we're giving them to, but have you ever actually tried to challenge one of them when they phone you?

I know I've blogged about this before, but I had a conversation on Wednesday that went something like this.

My phone rings. The number is withheld. I answer.

Them: "Hello - this is Barclays. We need to clarify a few details. Can I get you to answer some security questions first?"

Me: "That depends. What is this concerning?"

Them: "I'm sorry, I can't tell you that until you've confirmed who you are."

Me: "I'm not answering any questions until you can confirm who you are. What's my account number?"

Them: "I can't tell you that until I can confirm who you are. What's your date of birth?"

Me: "I'm not answering that until you can confirm ..."

etc. etc. ad infinitum.

The worst of it is that they always seem so affronted that I'm daring to question them. Yet I'm pretty sure that if I rang up and said "my identity has been stolen and I think it was because someone rang up and asked me for my date of birth and my mother's maiden name and they said they were you so I gave it to them" they'd say that I was the one at fault.

The banks need to catch up. They need to stop asking us to go to paperless statements, but then demanding to see original copies of our last statements before proceeding with a mortgage application or bank loan. They need to work out that trust is a two-way process and that if they want us to be careful with our identity, they need to work out some secure way for us to identify them.

If they want us to be more secure, they have to be more secure too.

In the end, I said I'd call the person back. He said "Here's my phone number" at which I laughed, and said I'd look up the Barclays Customer Service number on the web - if I didn't trust him enough to give him my details, I wasn't going to trust any phone number he gave me either.

I think he thought I was paranoid.

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