Bank Security

August 4, 2005 at 4:04pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I just witnessed an unbelievable scene.

A co-worker called up her bank. She said that she wanted to transfer money from savings to checking. She gave her account number, her name, and the amount she wanted to transfer. Then she said “Thank you” and hung up.

What the…?! I would never use a bank that doesn’t require any sort of security clearance whatsoever to mess with funds. All the information she gave is easily accessible. Her name, account number, and bank’s telephone number are all printed on her checks. Had I recorded her account number, or if I got it off one of her checks, I could call up the bank right now and access her account balances, transfer funds, and do who knows what else. At the very least I could be annoying—say, by transferring all her checking account funds into her savings account, likely causing a few bounced checks. In theory I could be pretty malicious.

My bank doesn’t have the most stringent procedures in place for telephone transactions, but they are a heckuva lot more secure than what I just witnessed. Do other banks use the same procedures? Is fraud really that easy?

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