Tag Archives: banking

Double Identity!

14 Apr

Well, it has finally happened! I apparently am suffering from an identity crisis…and all because my bank has just informed me that I can’t withdraw any money from the drive-up or teller window unless I show them 2 forms of identification! Who do they think I am anyway?… Do I know?

They take my money just fine without so much as a how-do-ya-do…but when I ask for some…just some… of it back? They can’t tell me, from Bonnie and Clyde! The Teller was very nice, and I know it’s not her fault nor her policy, and she gave me my money (this time) with only my driver’s license as ID…(you know, the one that I could only get when I proved who I was by showing 7 points of Identification to the State of New Jersey) oh, AND MY FACE! Did I mention I had my face with me? My face??? The same one I’ve been wearing for 60 years… this May!

She said, “I can give you your money this time because we know who you are. But next time you’ll need to have 2 forms of identification. I guess It’s because of all of the bank fraud and fake IDs going around these day.”

Really? How is it possible that people are defrauding their own banks, where they do their banking,  with fake IDs…IN PERSON?!?! Did I mention that I was wearing my face at the time? And did you notice that her sentence had “We know who you are” in it? That’s probably because I have been going to that bank for 30 years, looking like I always have looked…except a little older each time…with the same ID and the same bank account and the same FACE! And…did I mention…THEY KNOW WHO I AM!

It is now easier to go buy a gun, with one ID (or none?) return to the teller window, and then just hold up the bank and get my money that way, than it is to ask for it politely with 1 ID and a bank check and a signature. And I’d probably get away with it too because when the police showed up the teller would be like, “Gee officer, I don’t know who the man was. All I saw was his gun and 1 form of ID! He could have been anybody… I guess?”

I just hope I don’t live to see the day when I show up to the bank with my bag of IDs, personal attorney and birth certificate and hear the words. “Money? What money?”

It Makes the World Go Round

6 Feb

Recently there has been a spate of computer hacking at large retail stores, most notably,  Neiman-Marcus, Target and Michael’s, where customer credit card information has been stolen from each companies computer systems. This information has been sold to other criminals who in turn use the info to create bogus credit cards which are then used to purchase items on-line in the names of the stolen identities.

If you have ever had your identity stolen or have had fraudulent charges made to your credit card account then you know how upsetting and frustrating this can be…and you also probably know how little surprised and unfazed the credit card companies are by all of this thievery when you contact them.

There are two relatively easy fixes for this problem: One involves these large companies strengthening their computer systems security measures to make it more difficult for the hackers to place malware and other viruses into those systems which then allows the hackers to retrieve valuable data used to steal credit card and customer info. That of course would cost the retailers money.

The second fix involves creating a new type of credit card, one with a technologically superior computerized chip and stripe that requires your also using a 4 digit pass code when making purchases. This would replace the current stripe that is on the back of your card now and which represents a credit card technology that is already 40 years old.

So why not create a newer and safer credit card for all to use?

Because even though the new card would only cost credit card companies about $3 each to replace there are about 5 billion credit cards in circulation in the U.S. alone. And since credit card fraud amounts to about 5.5 billion dollars in fraudulent purchases it’s more cost effective for the CC companies to…you guessed it…do nothing.

So, until the thieves do more thieving it’s up to us to be more vigilant about how we use our cards. One thing to do is to select credit rather than debit when swiping your bank card at stores. And purchasing on-line is safer than in person (go figure) and of course cash…remember that?…is the best way to avoid identity fraud.

Of course then you might have to wait a bit at checkout while the cashiers do the math and count out your change, but having us all do a little bit more math is probably a good thing since nothing is going to get cheaper and thieves are way ahead of all of us when it comes to doing the math.

I’d also mention the old adage, “If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it”… but I can hear you laughing already…

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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