Earlier this week I received a text message from a bank I have a credit card from. The text wanted to know if I had recently charged $2 to my account. I waited until I was no longer driving and textd a reply – NO.
Later a telephone call woke me from my nap. It was the Fraud department. I was still groggy from my nap and didn’t get the young man’s name. I did hear the multiple questions about my identity based on my telephone #s, addresses and travel destination in the past. I did hear the name of my nephew and wondered how a bank knew he was connected to me.
I questioned the caller as to the purpose of my interrogation and was told the bank needed to verify that I was the legal owner of the CC. He than said his department had received an alert when someone tried to charge $2.00 on my CC in California. He didn’t know who had made the charges or where in California the fraud took place.
He did repeatedly assure me that his call was the banks way of protecting me from someone illegally using my CC. He asked if I had any questions.
I was now awake and wondering where the information about my life had come from specifically the name of my nephew. He didn’t answer my question directly but did repeat his ‘we’re protecting you’ mantra.
I pulled rank knowing I was older and wiser. I demanded to know on what authority he had obtained information I had not released to the bank.
He glibly replied that banks have the authority to access private information in order to – you guessed it – protect the customer. In keeping with that duty the bank was going to discontinue my current CC and assign me a new one, which would arrive in a few weeks.
I was stunned and yes angry at being manipulated. My gut feeling was that the bank’s CC system had been hacked and the bank wanted an excuse to reissue mine.
Today at the grocery check out my CC from another bank was denied. I paid with cash and contacted the bank, my regular provider, when I returned home.
I was asked for my telephone PW and then about a purchase I had not made. That was it. No new CC required.
I did inquire about the banks authority to access private information and was told it was not the policy of the bank to do so. They could not speak for other banks.
I will provide direct consumer feed back with the first bank. I am canceling my account.