Kate McMillan (a/k/a the “Other” Kate) reports a seeming bank scam that wasn’t actually a bank scam.
“Hello, is this Catherine McMillan? This is *The Bank. We have a problem with one of your accounts.”
“But first I need to verify your identity. What is your date of birth and phone number?”
And it actually was the bank.
When I moved to Northern Virginia, I opened an account with Bank of America because there are numerous branch offices locally, they have free Internet banking, and it’s a worldwide outfit so I could get help anywhere. While I’ve generally been pleased with them, one of the major downsides of having mega corporations handling banking and such is that everything is quite impersonal. While I was waiting for my direct deposit got set up, I deposited a couple of paychecks into the ATM. Within days, I had the check returned to me. I finally went to the bank and it turned out that the check was to “James Joyner” but the account was in the name “James H. Joyner, Jr.” and, even though it was a For Deposit Only transaction into my own account, they wouldn’t honor it because they had experienced numerous cases of fraud with, I guess, sons trying to deposit their fathers’ checks. I told them I’d been banking–and using ATMs–for eighteen years and never had that problem before and was told that it was because I was a new customer. Ironically, I had theoretically been a BoA customer for fifteen years, as the little account I started at a military bank in Fort Sam Houston, Texas had been acquired first by NCNB and then BoA. But the local branch of BoA didn’t recognize the “military banks” as actually being part of BoA. Amazing. I wound up having to add several aliases to the account to avoid the problem.
A related thing that annoys me is that when I call my credit card companies to deal with an issue, I always have to punch the six hundred digit card number into the automated system. What’s the first question they ask when I finally get to a human operator? My card number.