Security policies are so stupid

Monday, January 11, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 2:05 AM

Originally Published 2005-07-21 03:46:34

So, I needed to retrieve an account number for an account payoff today. After verifying the usual barrage of questions... mother's maiden name, birthday, social security, my penis size, place of birth, dollar amount in my accounts, etc., the extremely apologetic fellow on the other end of the phone told me that he couldn't give me the account number over the phone. I could, however, retrieve it from online banking if I've previously set it up (which you need the account number for, of course), or go into a branch and present identification and get it.

Does anyone else see anything illogical about this?

(1) If I have all of that personal information, what the heck do I need the account number for? This isn't a credit card number I can use on Amazon.com for godsakes, it's the internal number the bank uses. With all the data they got from me before even talking to me, I can think of at least a half dozen more effective ways of stealing.

(2) Hello, it's for a PAYOFF. I owe them gobs and gobs of money. On the other hand, the amount of money a Really Bad Person (tm) could steal from this financial institution in my name tops out at around $250.

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In other news, the Visa card I use every day was put on hold recently. The security guy (after being transferred twice and going through the obligatory questions three times, natch) I spoke to claimed that, "there was a sudden increase in the size of your transactions and the computer hasn't gotten used to your spending habits."

No shit. I spent four bucks getting coffee and attempted to buy $900 in materials at home depot six hours later. Yeah, big jump. No, not out of the ordinary.

Then, of course, I realized that my account had recently been transferred from one large multinational corporation to another. So maybe his claim isn't so very hard to believe. Never mind the $50K or so in materials I've purchased on the same card in the last six months.

Still, it's getting to be bad enough that I'm thinking about using two cards regularly from now on instead of just one. Not so advantageous for the FICO score, but it sure beats going, "oh, hold on for ten minutes while I broadcast my personal data over the cellular network" to some poor stressed out cashier. Not to mention recounting all of those damn 2x4s...

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