Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Anonymous call from Barclays

Why? Is it to flag you as "stupid" on the account. I mean, if I was a bank, and called a customer asking personal details over the phone from an anonymous number, and they gave it, then I would make note.

After all, any fraud later would be "We have on record that you are quite happy to give personal details regarding your Barclays account to anonymous callers on the phone, so we have to assume you broke the terms of your account (again) and gave details to a fraudster - no refunds".

Is it some con?

Or just a stupidity test?

Oh, second trick was for him to give me a number to call him on !!! LOL

Turned out to be real, i.e. from Barclays, having called back on known numbers. Took 6 minutes and about as many call transfers to get to the bottom of it though.


  1. Funnily enough I had something similar from Nationwide... "Hello I'm calling from Nationwide, can you confirm your name & answer to your security question please?"

    Got really shirty when I said "No, I have no idea who you are, you have no idea to whom you're speaking. Now if you can tell me my exact outstanding mortgage balance as of right now that I can verify via online banking, then we can start the conversation again. I shall not give you my mortgage account number since you purport to know who I am and where I live".

  2. Yes, I had the same story twice and the employees can not understand you refuse to handle _any_ personal number and refuse to call _any_ number which you can not google once provided !

    From his reaction, it was clear that this was not the usual response from the average bank customer.

    Once I compromised : he provided me some of the specific of my postcode (the last three letters/numbers) and I provided the first and something else.
    At the end I can not see how they could say they spoke with _me_ but the fact it was my line, as any of my friends or staff could have given them the answer.

    Once more the bank fails and wonders why they suffer so much fraud ! sigh !

  3. To be fair though, even if it wasn't an 'anonymous number' I still wouldn't give out any details over the phone; having an ISDN30 with type 3 presentation, we can present any number outbound that we choose to; obviously, our PBX is programmed only to present numbers which we are entitled to do (eg my extension presents my mobile number), but other less scrupulous companies could present any number they liked, and it would 'appear' to be from Barclays (if you were to Google the number); obviously if you're a Telco, then you see the underlying number as well as the PN, but we're not all that fortunate.

    Anyway, the long and short of it is, that I always refuse to give out personal details, unless I've originated the call, and to a number that I've researched myself, not one given to me.

  4. "If you have something important to say put it in writing, if not quit wasting my time" is a pretty good template reply for the banks with no clue about security that I've come across.

  5. When I get calls from banks now I begin "before we go any further I'm going to have to take you through security" (ridiculous phrase, but that's what they generally say) and ask a few details. With just one exception (Barclaycard I think it was) they can't answer of course, but it makes the point.

  6. 2010 was kinda a bizarre year for the mortgage market. In the first half of the year, you had a decent number of home sales keeping mortgages for purchases stable, thanks to the home buyer credit. In the second half of the year, that changed as demand crumbled when the credit was withdrawn. At the same time, you had very low mortgage interest rates throughout much of the year cause a mini-refinancing boom. 2011 will look very different, as the housing demand continues to struggle and mortgage interest rates have begun rising.

  7. I once closed an account for that sort of behaviour.