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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2009 @ 11:11am

    "Is It ID Theft Or Was The Bank Robbed?"

    The simple answer is both.

    The ID was "stolen" virtually, but it isn't any different from taking your wallet or purse, and having all your ID cards photocopied and read by computer, plus getting a handy list of your mother's maiden name and your pet's name too.

    With that information, the person (vritually) visits the bank and makes withdrawls.

    They key is this: without the personal information, nothing would happen. The bank isn't going to tolerate someone showing up doing a phonebook or dictionary attack on a password or security test. Without the information, nothing would happen.

    It's the typical "I am never to blame" mentality that most people have. You got your information stolen / lifted / copied, that is where the crime(s) started. You are resonsible not to go to somedomain.com/trickystuf/yourbank.com/security-update and type your information in.

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