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 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re:

    I am from Canada, and this credit union I mentioned is the first bank I ever had to go through all these process. All the other banks I deal with only requires one account id and password.

    I can't back this up but I heard down south there are a lot more ID theft and bank fraud than in Canada. Perhaps US citizens are more used to this many layers of verification?

    I am not against higher level of verification/security, but I do think that banks need to suck up some of the loss just to service the customers better. Credit card fraud has always been rampant but it wasn't until lately that they start requiring a PIN. The companies has always absorb those losses.

    And from those huge amount of profits (and increasing fee every year) for banks, I think they can handle some of these loss.

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