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Identity theft attempt?

By rosebud - 4 November 2009 19

Today had a phone call from a young woman claiming to be from Capital Pathology who had some information to give me but needed my date of birth first. I declined to give it to her, but she insisted that she would not give me the results without confirming my identity and the only way I could do that was to provide her with my date of birth. Again I declined. When she started to sound a bit annoyed, I hung up. I then rang Capital Pathology to ask them if they called me. They said they would not normally do that unless I had had a test done in the last week (which I haven’t) and they had a glitch or error in their system. And anyway, today is a public holiday! So I have come to the conclusion that someone had set up an elaborate plan to steal my identity! If someone asks you for your personal details to confirm your identity, don’t do it. I’ve since learned I should have asked for their name and contact number first before hanging up. Next time!

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Identity theft attempt?
Felix the Cat 10:48 pm 04 Nov 09

I’ve had the bank (not CBA) ring me on my mobile to query a transaction that was a bit out of the ordinary and I don’t recall the masking me DOB or other potentially theft identity questions. I appreciated the call and told them it was a legit transaction.

I have had a few calls at night supposedly from the bank too, can’t recall what they wanted except they started asking all these personal questions (DOB etc) so I hung up on them. Nest time I was at the bank I asked them about this and supposedly at least one call was legit. I told them not to ring me at home after hours, if they have an issue they need to consult with me about they can send me a letter and then if needed I will arrange a person top person meeting.

Danman 10:11 pm 04 Nov 09

Tried ringing the Australian High Tech Crime Centre ?

Maybe they can shed some light if you are worried.

rosebud 7:42 pm 04 Nov 09

Punter said :

This is a big problem Rosebud, you should report this to Police.

I did report it and they simply put me through to Scamwatch which I think is an ACCC related organisation.

Punter 6:46 pm 04 Nov 09

This is a big problem Rosebud, you should report this to Police.

toriness 6:35 pm 04 Nov 09

I refuse to give out my details over the phone to anyone purporting to be anyone over the phone when they have called me, not the other way around. One time it was actually the ATO too! They seemed surprised I wouldn’t just give out my personal details but everyone knows these scam calls happen?! I always ask for a verifiable organisational number (like one I can see on a company website) and then call back after I’ve checked it. From now on I will be adding that if the number turns out to be illegitimate I will report the incident to the police and invite them to check my phone records to find the dodgy number against date and time of call. Maybe that will make them think twice about calling other people!

munrojay 5:37 pm 04 Nov 09

Deadmandrinking said :

I think the rule of thumb is to always communicate with companies either when you ring them, or face-to-face.

Kind of related, I gotta ask, has anyone here who’s on Mycareer gotten job offers from the U.S. or Panama, to which you have to ‘respond back’ with ‘agree word’? It’s a little worrying if they’ve managed to get their hands on my resume, which would include my full name, number, address, date of birth and current employment details. Is there anyone I can report this too other than Mycareer?

Hey DeadmanDrinking – it’s very common to receive fraudulent emails that appear to be from a reputable job board.

The emails may mention MyCareer but are actually fraudulent spam. They are not generated or endorsed by MyCareer nor have they gathered your name from the MyCareer site: fraudulent parties are very adept at collecting and compiling databases of people’s personal information to use it in such a way as this to make it seem as though their correspondence to you is legitimate.

It’s always a good idea to advise the job board of such emails as many update a fraudulent activity list on their sites to inform all job seekers – e.g. http://mycareer.com.au/consumer/find/job/report.aspx

dvaey 4:56 pm 04 Nov 09

Friska said :

Commonwealth Bank do that as well. They call and announce themselves and then ask for my fullname, DOB and address. I also say NO and feel uncomfortable giving that information out if they called ME not me calling them.

Funny you should say that, they just called me and after I hung up after they requested details they called back 3 more times. I called the branch and said I dont identify myself over the phone and will contact the police about harassment if they dont stop the procedure. The banker I spoke to said there is indeed a note on my file that I dont like to identify over the phone, yet they still call and ask.

If someone receives an email claiming to be from a bank asking for your name/address/DOB, etc, the majority of people now know it is a scam, as the banks claim theyll never ask for details by email, it seems people trust someone calling their phone, a lot more.

From the banks website:
Do not disclose your personal or account information over the phone unless you initiated the call or unless you are confident that it is the Bank that you are dealing with.

Even if the bank does have to legitimately call, they should identify themselves more clearly, and prove they have some information about you to begin with. This would make them slightly more credible, however it would still encourage people to believe its okay to give out details over the phone if someone calls and asks.

Tetranitrate 1:08 pm 04 Nov 09

A big problem is that there *are* legitimate enterprises that do this.
The ATO *will* call up, ask to confirm date of birth or address or other such detail, and all they’ll tell you beforehand is that they’re ringing to discuss a tax matter.

Also – I’d neglected to pay an old internet bill at a previous address, and unbeknownst to me the ISP had forwarded the matter to a collections agency, which proceeded to ring up day after day demanding that I tell them my address before they would discuss this *financial matter*.

The practices of real business and government departments unfortunately create a situation where these sorts of scams are in fact believable, since the method of contact isn’t particularly out of the ordinary.

Deadmandrinking 12:32 pm 04 Nov 09

I think the rule of thumb is to always communicate with companies either when you ring them, or face-to-face.

Kind of related, I gotta ask, has anyone here who’s on Mycareer gotten job offers from the U.S. or Panama, to which you have to ‘respond back’ with ‘agree word’? It’s a little worrying if they’ve managed to get their hands on my resume, which would include my full name, number, address, date of birth and current employment details. Is there anyone I can report this too other than Mycareer?

busgirl 12:12 pm 04 Nov 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Is it true that your identity can still get stolen even if you answer the phone while wearing a tin foil hat?

ha ha…yes it is HC, so you should probably stop wearing it.

misspris 11:17 am 04 Nov 09

You were definitely right to be alarmed. It isn’t standard practice for pathology providers to give results directly to the patient (that usually requires form completion to satisfy privacy/FOI issues). The patient’s GP/specialist receive the results and the patient deals directly with them.

You haven’t had mail go missing have you? Might be worth investing in a post office box.

Friska 10:28 am 04 Nov 09

Commonwealth Bank do that as well. They call and announce themselves and then ask for my fullname, DOB and address. I also say NO and feel uncomfortable giving that information out if they called ME not me calling them.

Speaking of CBA – they are the worst bank ever.

The end

Holden Caulfield 9:48 am 04 Nov 09

Is it true that your identity can still get stolen even if you answer the phone while wearing a tin foil hat?

dvaey 9:30 am 04 Nov 09

I often have banks calling me up regarding ‘a personal banking matter’, most often claiming to represent one of the larger banks. Like in your story they ask for ‘name, address and date of birth’, and like you, they get annoyed when I refuse to provide the details.

The catch is when you say ‘How about I call my bank, and see if they need to talk to me’ which normally ellicits a response such as ‘Were not part of head office, were a different department’ or similar responses. One time I did call my bank after one of these phone calls, and was told I did the right thing by refusing to provide information over the phone. He then looked up my account and said that at least one (of the maybe 20 previous calls Id received over the past weeks) was actually legitimate, and didnt really have an answer when I complained about them demanding personal information over the phone to speak to me.

Its not really all that different to the emails one receives, which claim to have suspended your banking account, until you reply by email and confirm your name, address, date of birth, password (and include a scanned copy of your photo ID, sometimes).

I never really worried about these things, however in the past couple of months my girlfriend has become a victim of identity theft somehow, so Ive learnt to be even more cautious.

eyeLikeCarrots 8:47 am 04 Nov 09

Someone trying to steal your identity is not likley to provide a legitimate name and phone number.

But its good too see that your internal radar is working.

People need to aware of how much information they have available.. infact I might write a RA article.

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