I had just got in the door after a long day at work when the phone rang. When I answered it, the caller asked to speak with Mrs. Herd. As soon as I said I was Mrs. Heard, the caller declared that she was calling from my bank. ”MY BANK,” I exclaimed and she said, “Yes.” I immediately thought about a discussion I recently had with my friend at the bank and I was concerned that something was wrong. But, having been a banker for twenty years, I quickly recognized this telephone scam from my previous clients’ experiences. So I asked the caller, “How can I help you?” I started to laugh when the caller said, “I am phoning to help you.”
All I could think about was what a coincidence this was since the next day I planned to present a short workshop to a group of seniors about telephone scams.
I looked at the phone and saw that the caller ID was blank. “What can you help me with?” I said. All my tiredness had vanished and I immediately became alert as I answered.
“Mrs. Herd, we are calling to verify some of your personal information.”
“What would you like to know?” I said.
“Well, we need to verify your date of birth, your social insurance number, your account number and bank address.”
“Great,” I said, “Do you need my access card number and pin number too?”
“Yes,” she said, “That would be handy as most people are reluctant to give these numbers over the phone.”
“I am a bit puzzled,” I said to her. “I do not understand why my bank would need that information?”
“Mrs. Herd,” she said, “It is just for verification. We need to do this now and then to be sure that the information we have on file for our clients are up-to-date especially since clients do not come to the bank as often as before.”
“What great customer service,” I said. “I am so happy that I am banking with a Financial Institution who takes the time to call to make sure they have up-to-date information on their clients.”
“What is your name?” I asked, “I did not get it when I first answered the phone?”
In the meantime, my husband was standing next to me mouthing and flapping his arms telling me to hang up the phone. I gave him the death stare and the large-eye look meaning for him to go away.
The young lady said her name was Diane. I said, “Well Diane, I do not have the information right now and I just got home from work . Can I call you back in say ten minutes and I will be happy to give you the information?”
She then said, “What if I give you a call in, say, 15 minutes. Will that give you some time to get settled?”
Then I said, “You know something Diane, I find it very peculiar that my bank needs all this information especially since I am a retired employee of the bank.”
All I heard was A LOUD DIAL TONE.
Can you imagine how a Senior Citizen would react to such a request from their trusted bank? I know how they got my phone number. It is listed under my husband’s name in the phone book; a good place for someone to go searching for information to commit their nasty crimes.
I am sure this woman will put my phone number on the SDNCL, Scammers Do No Call List. I am one person they will not call again.
Please be careful. If anyone calls you saying they are calling from you bank, just HANG UP. Your bank has all your information and they always tell you not to tell them or anyone your Personal Identification Number. Your bank has no need to verify your personal information and to update your information. They have it all.
REMEMBER! If you receive this type of call, the best thing to do tell them you are going to call the POLICE and HANG UP
Hope this helps prevent someone from being scammed.
Tessa- Marie Shillingford is the author of Controlling the Debt Monster. She is Personal Financial Planner, with a designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers, and a Financial Counselor certified by the institute of Canadian Banker. She is presently a Program Facilitator of Financial Literacy at JVS Toronto. Tessa- Marie was employed by TD Canada Trust for twenty years in the retail section of the bank. During her tenure at TD Canada Trust she held various positions interacting with customers of the bank. As a Financial Advisor and Manager of Financial Services she led a group of Financial Advisors in helping customers of TD Canada Trust successfully manage their finances. Details of her book… Controlling the Debt Monster, can be found at http://www.controldebtmonster.com