Recently, an unidentified customer took out $400 from a Capital One bank in the Hamptons in New York and left behind his receipt showing an available balance of $100m. The receipt was considered suitable novelty value by the person who picked it up, who then posted it via a financial blog on the Internet. The incident provides a sharp reminder to customers to protect all their receipts and financial records.
Even seemingly innocuous ATM or point–of-sale receipts left uncollected, or taken home and discarded in part or in whole in the rubbish, can give excellent information to would-be fraudsters intent on determining the best customers to target for account takeover or identity theft. Current balance information is often deployed as a dynamic security question by banks and, when used in conjunction with other information which might be obtained from further customer records that may be thrown in the bin or disclosed whilst shopping, might help a perpetrator gain unauthorised access to accounts and funds.
As the basic rule of thumb, remind your banking customers to ensure all receipts and other financial and personal records are properly and securely disposed of. The best way of ensuring this is to put all unwanted records through a cross-shredder before discarding. It could be the best investment your customers make this year!