What You Can’t Bank On

Don’t get me started about banks.  Okay, I can’t help myself.

Today I got a phone call and I answered because the caller ID was from my bank.  Not my local branch, but a main branch as I could tell from the phone number.

But it wasn’t really from my bank, it was from a telemarketer who apparently had permission from my bank to call me and offer a new service.  That alone cheesed me off, but I listened anyway.

She went on to tell me that this new service was to protect my accounts against identity theft and described how my accounts and credit cards and credit rating could be compromised by identity thieves in many ways.  This new service is supposed to alert me if that happens and protect my accounts and credit cards.

I have no doubt that identity theft is a huge problem.  I would actually like to think that I could have some kind of solid protection against it.  But then she told me that the cost was $8.99 a month.  And that’s what put me over the edge.  If this is such a concern for my bank, why do I have to pay for it?  I already pay through the nose for lots of things because I have a bank account and banks make billions of dollars a year from people like me.  So why should I have to pay more for something I would hope they would already have in place;  protection against identity theft?

I know identity theft exists because I’ve had friends who have experienced it, and it is a pain in the butt to resolve.  It is a certainly concern of mine, but to have the bank offer to protect my identity and then to ask me for more money to do it is just a slap in the face.

Okay, I’m mad right now.

Don’t banks have an obligation to protect your money?  I mean, what is the reason you use a bank in the first place?  It is meant as a safe place to keep your money.  What other reason would there be to have bank vaults?  And now that banks have created websites where you can do transactions online, don’t they have the same obligation?  I realize there are stupid people who sign up for things or give their personal information which compromises their accounts, and banks can’t do much about stupid people.  But if I haven’t done anything wrong, why should I pay $9 a month to make sure my accounts are safe?  Did they call me up to scare me so I’d sign up for it?

Oh boy, I’m really getting riled up now!

What this tells me is that the only thing you can bank on is that banks will spend a lot of time and effort to find alarmingly new ways to take more of your money.

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