Saturday, January 27, 2007

Major CNN report

CNN broadcast a major one hour documentary (by Drew Griffin) on this problem on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007, going into detail with several major schemes used against banks. Much of this is associated with overseas and "Nigerian" activities. Nigeria is said to have very poor financial control laws.

Most of these schemes would not work if banks rigorously checked addresses against a secured NCOA system. Banks have started more address verification of their "security deposit" credit cards for people with poor credit histories.

The program also described fraud in Texas using fake notary stamps and also mailbox addresses. Notary stamps could certainly be more carefully controlled, and mailbox addresses (usually used by people to protect residential privacy, itself a legitimate purpose) could be more secure with a more secure NCOA system from the USPS (requiring a major systems development effort), as described in previous posts.

Many white collar crooks described in this report sounded sociopathic, and claimed they were just "making a living" in a competitive world (what David Callahan calls "The Cheating Culture"). Ideas of right and wrong seem to go bye-bye. One young white collar criminal in prison was very insistent that little could be done to stop people like him, although many of us would strongly disagree.

Banks are still free to share personal information with subsidiaries (unless the customer opts out) and have a lot more work to do with encryption.

There is more at this link.

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