Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Your banking institution will not, repeat WILL NOT, e-mail you asking for all of your personal information. We, the bank, already have your info. We did not suddenly forget it. We do not need to "update our records". Some information, like the PIN for your debit card or those magic numbers on the back of the card (that let you shop online) or the pass code for your online banking, we don't have and don't need, or want-- those are for your knowledge alone. If there is potential fraud on your account, we don't send you an e-mail to "alert" you (and for some reason request all of your information to "fix" the problem.)

The same thing goes for online shopping channels like Yahoo and Amazon and Pay-pal. Repeat: if you've already set accounts up with a bank or whomever, then that institution HAS your data. They will not come around requesting it.

For the love of GOD don't answer the e-mail. I don't care how how realistic it looks. I know that the emblems are all there and when you follow the link, it sure looks like your banking institution's website, doesn't it? Here's a hint, check the address bar. YOUR bank's website will generally read Images are easy to copy, it doesn't take much ingenuity to create a skin that mirrors any other website, really. But that address bar is usually a give-away.

Never never never enter your social security number online, especially if "someone" is requesting it unprompted by you. Because you know what? I can cancel your debit card, close your checking account, change your Online Banking ID and pass code and open entirely new accounts for you, but there's not much I can do about a compromised social-- that's going to haunt you for awhile. THINK before ever giving away sensitive information. Ask yourself-- does this really make sense? Who needs these numbers and why?

Sincerely, your beleaguered banker.

1 comment:

ayla said...

Seriously, I had another blogger who I read JUST get duped by one of those fake emails. I, personally, have never been duped by one. When in doubt, I call my bank first.

Sorry there are people out there who don't. For them and for you.