Checking out of a Hilton hotel in London, security expert Roger Thompson was told his Visa card had been declined due to suspicions it was stolen, a situation that only got more disconcerting when he learned the bank that issued the card had more personal information on him and his family members than he ever imagined.
In a tale he relates in his blog
, Thompson, chief research officer at AVG, said he was compelled to answer questions on the phone from a Wachovia Bank representative in its fraud-prevention division to prove he was really Roger Thompson and not a credit-card thief checking out of the London hotel.
It turns out Thompson's Visa card was flagged and suspended because he hadn't told the bank he was travelling overseas, a requirement he didn't know the bank had. But the "scary bit" about it all, he says, is that the bank fraud-prevention representative didn't just ask him to give the correct answers to questions such as his mother's maiden name, which he had provided to the bank for fraud detection purposes, but also a host of other questions about his daughter-in-law that he had no idea it knew.