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General Chat Thread, Security. They've heard of it in General; Phone call from my soon-to-be former mobile phone provider. (I'd called the previous night to get a PAC and cancel ...
  1. #1
    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Security. They've heard of it

    Phone call from my soon-to-be former mobile phone provider. (I'd called the previous night to get a PAC and cancel the contract and they were calling with an "improved" offer to persuade me to stay. I won't be doing so.)


    Them: Hello this is [name] calling from [network]

    [general pleasantries]

    Them: For security reasons can you confirm your date of birth please?

    Me: Ok...

    Them: Please tell me your date of birth

    Me: Err no, you tell me what you think it is and I'll tell you if you're right. I have no way of verifying that you are from [network]. How do I know you're not phishing for my personal information?

    Them: Ok, I understand that. Could you tell me your postcode instead?

    Me: I will happily confirm that what you have on file is correct but I'm not giving you any personal information

    Them: I can't continue the call without confirming the details

    Me: You're the one who has interrupted me for a conversation I don't particularly want to have. Your problem.



    I really can't understand why they can't grasp the idea that if they initiate the call, it's them that need to prove their identity to me. I tried to feedback to them via Twitter and they missed the point there too. Muppets.

  2. #2

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Playing devils advocate here, but what if whoever picked up the phone wasn't you. Couldn't they then get your details?

  3. #3

    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    I'm with Steve. I know who I am, they need to prove who they are first. They might tell me the number I called last, or the last three digits of my phone number, or similar.

  4. #4


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    It's supposed to be so they can discuss details which are only related to you so they need to confirm that they are speaking to the correct person and anyone can pretend to be you and agree to the information they provide. Personally when I used to work in a call centre and you needed to confirm someone's identify I tended to give part of the information and ask the other person to confirm another. Most people where happy with this rather than just divulge their personal information....Although to be fair it I wasn't trying to sell them anything so it was a little easier.

  5. #5

    localzuk's Avatar
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    I've had this from my bank! My response is the same each time. Give me your name, and department, and I'll call the customer service line and get put through to you.

  6. #6

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I've had this from my bank! My response is the same each time. Give me your name, and department, and I'll call the customer service line and get put through to you.
    The bank i worked for allowed this. Great but simple idea.

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    I understand that they need to check that I am the person that they intend to call, but as Andrew says, that comes after they demonstrate that they are who they say they are. Or a system where they call with a brief message asking you to call on a number you know and quote a reference number.

    We all know how gullible people are with the "Hello, this is [name] from Microsoft" scams, it's really no different.

  8. #8

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I have this with my home tv/broadband/phone provider and have an agreed call and response phrase. If I get a cold call offering me improvements I ask them to check my file for a given phrase, I say teh first bit and they say the second. I randomly say the wrong first bit and they tell me I am wrong. It took 3 years to get it in place and it works quite well now ... it was suggested as a common thing to apply to all accounts but was ruled out as too much hassle as no-one else does it.

    Apart from 2 banks I have done business with ... a number of security firms ... 2 data centres (when booking appointments) ... and the secret cabal of Steve Jobs clones (call : Apple is cooler, response : Than the Fonz!)

  9. #9
    kearton's Avatar
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    HA! I was going to post something almost identical a couple of days ago because I was so hopping mad too. The only difference was that it was [energy supplier] and not [mobile network] that called me. Some organisations haven't got two clues to rub together when it comes to security...

  10. Thanks to kearton from:

    SYNACK (26th July 2012)

  11. #10

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kearton View Post
    Some organisations haven't got two clues to rub together
    Nice, that ones going on the list.

  12. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    kearton (26th July 2012)

  13. #11
    kearton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Nice, that ones going on the list.
    Surprised you haven't heard it. Thought it was an old (Kiwi?) saying. My Dad (aged 84) has been saying it for as long as I can remember...

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    I respond in the same way but usually they say can you confirm XX that ends with XX. If they dont I ask them and if they say XX (its right) then I respond with XX.

    Hmmm a lot of XX

  15. #13

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kearton View Post
    Surprised you haven't heard it. Thought it was an old (Kiwi?) saying. My Dad (aged 84) has been saying it for as long as I can remember...
    Maybe a different reigon, hadn't heard it before

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