So I just got a call from CIBC informing me that my brand new 24 hour old ATM Card may have been compromised. The man on the phone tried to claim I had fallen victim to a phishing scam and that my card number had been targeted.
Most phishing scams involve an phony email that directs the victim to a replica website (e.g. an email from what appears to be RBC directs you to a website that looks exactly like the RBC website). The unsuspecting party, not realizing they are at a fake website then attempts to log – and thus gives away their login and password.
In this case however, I went directly to CIBC’s website (www.cibc.com) and followed their protocols. Moreover, I actually did log into my account (I could see my account info and last few transactions).
I want to be clear – while I seasoned computer user, I am not a computer or security expert (and would invite the opinions of those who are) however, it seems to me that if someone got my information, it was because they were able to manipulate CIBC’s website. Wouldn’t that mean they’d have hacked the website itself?
Fortunately for CIBC, it is become a pro at dealing with security problems. Practice makes perfect…
And while we are on the subject of CIBC… I’ve encountered yet another way they punish customers. The reason I got a new ATM card was because I was opening a small business account. The most basic pricing plan was called a “Pay as you go” account which had a $5 monthly fee + $0.80 per transaction + $0.16 for depositing checks and $1.60 for depositing cash. This account did not, however, include an ATM card. Getting an ATM card cost an additional $5 a month. It costs the bank less for me to use an ATM then an actual teller. And yet, to use a service that saves them money – the consumer pays an additional charge? What happened to “passing along the savings?” Not in Canada’s banking oligarchy marketplace. The worst part is that this approach creates the worst possible incentive structure. Small business owners are more likely to use tellers – driving up CIBC’s costs – and its bad for small businesses – they are denied a flexible and convenient 24 hour service.
When I lived in Boston, Fleet Bank (now Bank of America) who is the furthest thing from a customer oriented bank you can find did the opposite. Lower monthly bank fees if you only used an ATM, higher fees if you wanted to use a personal teller. I hated Bank of America, but at least that service structure makes sense to me.