Is It ID Theft Or Was The Bank Robbed?

from the which-one-seems-more-accurate dept

Via Clay Shirky, comes a very good point from Kevin Marks concerning claims of "identity theft," where he notes that identity theft is not actually an identity being stolen but is usually a bank/credit card company being robbed and passing off the blame for their own poor security on the victim. He point to a brilliant comedy routine by Mitchell and Webb that makes this all pretty clear:
"They took all the money? That sounds more like a bank robbery."
"No, no. If only. 'Cause we could take the hit. No, no. It was actually your identity that was stolen, primarily. It's a massive pisser for you."
"But, it's actually money that's been taken..."
"Yes"
"From you?"
"Kind of."
"I don't know what you want from me other than my commiserations."
"You see it was your identity. They said they were you!"
"And you believed them?"
"Yes, they stole your identity."
"Well, I don't know. I seem to still have my identity, whereas you seem to have lost several thousands of pounds. In light of that, I'm not sure why you think it was my identity that was stolen instead of your money."
The problem isn't "identity theft." It's bad security and verification processes by a financial institution.

Filed Under: identity theft, scams, security


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  1. icon
    william (profile), 19 Aug 2009 @ 9:38am

    Ouch. To be honest I never thought of it this way.

    Undeniably if I were to go on the street and offer every single little detail of my identity, then I am at fault.

    In this day and age it's just a bit too easy to gather enough life detail of another person to convince others that you are them.

    However, higher level of verification really cause inconvenience to customers. One of the small local credit union I go to has high level of verification and it's the worst bank I have ever used.

    For the web,
    -customer selected image to help identify the correct website (prevents phishing)
    -password for identifying your computer (needed when you use a computer for the first time)
    -Then your regular username/password.

    For phone calls
    -secret passwords (and they only ask you, what's the first and fourth letter of your password)
    -some verify question like the typical your mom's maiden name...etc

    I only use this credit union for mortgage so I don't use all these password on a regular basis, at most twice a month. Long and behold one day I failed my online verification, got my account locked. Then I failed on phone verification. Then I forgot the bank card's PIN. Note they always tell you not write anything down. Finally I had to go to the bank and proof my identity to get my account reset. Only to have them reset my PIN only.

    Now I just use the band machine to pay mortgage and check balance. Just too much a bother...

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