Trust your bank?

28th October 2008

Sitting at my computer desk, the phone rings. This results in a mad rush as I run around, finding the controls to turn down the music. I pick up the phone and answer.

No one replies and so I repeat myself in case they didn’t hear me, nothing. Now a little frustrated, I start to conclude that it’s the third silent auto call of the week, then it beeps. With a minor amount of unmentionable language I start running about again trying to remember how to start the long forgotten fax machine. I get there and find the clever little thing has already brought itself out of its long hibernation and is happily purring away as it takes receipt of the fax.

After a couple of minutes, I realise, this fax was not meant for me.

I am presented with two pages, they contain a ladies name, her address, her telephone number, her bank account number, her sort code. Everything I’d need to set up some rather profitable bank transfers. At first I’m thinking that this is some sort of scam, then with careful reading I see that this was meant for a bank in Dundee, my hometown.

The first thing that occurred to me was that I should call the lady who’s bank account this belonged to. I did after all have her name and telephone number. On the end of the line is the ladies son, a gentleman setting up telephone banking for his elderly mother. He explains to me that the bank has been messing around and making mistakes all round but of course, he never expected them to be sending his mothers bank account details to random strangers living on the Hilltown. We arrange for me to send him the worrying paper work and so the matter is in his hands.

But it leaves me wondering. This is just one isolated incident, how many more have their been? How many more will there be? How many people could see my bank details and how many people would just ignore them?