Yesterday, I received a call from a financial institution of whom I have recently become a customer. The lady who called introduced herself and then asked if she could confirm some personal details with me before going on to discuss whatever it was she’d called to discuss.
“No.” was my reply. And that should be yours too.
This is one of my major pet hates, and companies should train their staff to know better, especially with levels of identity theft going though the roof. If you’ve called me, by dialing the number you have on file for me, then you should be confident of whom you’re speaking to. It’s YOU who needs to prove to ME that you’re legit, not vice versa. It’s almost as maddening as those websites where after signing up (entering your password in an obfuscated entry field) the muppets then go and send it you in plain text in a confirmation email. Aaaargh!!
The lady who called me wanted to confirm my D.O.B. and if I’d just given it to her, and she turned out NOT to be calling from said financial institution, the bad guys now have that information about me. Call back in a fortnight and confirm my mother’s maiden name (or another detail) and pretty soon you have enough about me to set up a credit card or take out a Wonga.com loan in my name!
I asked her name and told her I’d call her back on the number which is published on their website. I did, and we proceeded just fine but hopefully with a lesson learnt for her and her colleagues.
So, if you receive a phone call and they ask you to confirm any details – SAY NO! And don’t call back on a number they give you – ALWAYS confirm the number on official documents and/or the official website.
It’s also a very good idea to record all your phone calls so you have a solid record of everything that’s been discussed and with who. You don’t need any specialist equipment and get an MP3 of each call with free cloud storage. See www.recordyourcall.co.uk to get started now.