Bank Of America Gets Verfication Data Wrong, Locks Customer's Account, Hangs Up On Him, Several Times

According to this reader complaint, to amass the personal information Bank of America uses to “verify your identity,” they employ a company that that trolls public records for your data. They look for things like employer, student loans held, what hotel you stayed in last year, etc.

There’s a couple of problems with this.

1) If there’s an error in the database they’re pulling from, as happened with our reader, you can erroneously get shut out from your own account.
2) If the information is coming from a public database, then an actual identity thief can easily get the information, too

In our reader’s case, Bank of America told him that he had the place where he worked at wrong. Instead of calling the work number on the account or anything like that, they shut him out of his account and hung up him. When our reader kept trying to get his account reinstated, they kept making him going through a security dance for hours and then made him go down to his bank in person and present photo ID.

Account safety is always a tug of war between convenience and safety, but the procedures should be consistent. And make sense.


Anyonymous writes:

You see, yesterday I initiated a transfer of $1800 from one of my BofA cards to one of my Chase cards.

Today, I got a call from the BofA Fraud Department.

I called them back, and spoke with a Mr. Timothy Kilcourse in their Kennesaw, GA callcenter.

Mr. Kilcourse asked me an entire battery of identity-verifying questions, all of which I (of course) got right.

Then, he asked me, “Who is your current employer?” I told him, while sitting in that employer’s offices, at my desk.

He told me I was wrong.

Once my brain snapped out of this Bizzaro-world moment, I insisted I wasn’t wrong, that I really did in fact work where I was sitting. He again insisted I was wrong.

I gave him, unprompted, the names of my previous two employers, which covered the past 6 years of my employment, total. He said those were incorrect as well.

WTF?

I asked to speak with his boss. His boss was, of course, on vacation until Monday (has anyone ever found a person whose boss wasn’t on vacation, in a meeting, gone for the day, or otherwise unavailable when you ask for them? Sheesh!). I then asked for his boss’s superior’s name, and got it.

I asked to speak with her, and was denied.

I asked Mr. Kilcourse the name of the information source he was using, so I could correct it, because I didn’t want to have this same problem in the future. He refused to divulge this information.

I asked again, insisting that I’d passed all his other tests, and that he had erroneous information. He became agitated, vehemently refused to divulge the information, and put a block on my account. He then refused to speak with me further, telling me I’d have to go to a branch.

Then he hung up.

WTF?!?

So I tried calling customer service, but after 15 minutes on hold, gave up and called the original number back. This time, I got a Ms. Marsha Lathem, also in the Kennesaw, GA call center. I explained what had happened, and she apologized. After a few minutes on hold, she asked me the name of a hotel I’d stayed in, in August 2006. Thankfully, I haven’t been doing a lot of traveling lately! So I hopped on Google, pulled up the website for the conference I was at, and told her the name of the hotel. She was convinced I was who I said I was, and said she’d be happy to remove the block.

While she was working on removing the block, I explained the whole employment thing to her, and asked her about the information source they use, and told her how silly I thought it was that I couldn’t correct the mistaken information. After all, she knows who I am now, right?

Apparently not. Asking her about the information source upset her, and she suddenly asked me who services my student loans.

Again, WTF?

I ask her to be patient with me while I find and pull up the spreadsheet I use to track my budget, because I don’t remember this sort of thing…in fact, I use BofA’s online bill pay service specifically so I don’t have to remember this sort of thing.

She freaks out, insisting that I’m lying, because “anyone with student loans would automatically know who they’re with!!!”

She placed the block back on my account, told me to go to a branch, and hung up.

Did I wake up in a parallel universe today?

By now I’m pissed off, so I call to complain about these two people. I called back and got Ms. Ayanna Blaze, same call center, on the phone. I politely asked to speak with Mr. Bobbi Weber about these two, since Mr. Mohan wasn’t in. Ms. Weber was he uber-supervisor whose name I got initially from Mr. Kilcourse.

Mz. Blaze told me I could not speak with Ms. Weber without first going to a branch physically and present photo ID.

At this point, I just about lost it. I can’t speak to a representative of my bank without showing photo ID?

I told her I was going there right now, and when I got there, and they called, I wanted to speak with Ms. Weber. She assured me I could.

I hung up, went to the nearest branch, and spent another hour going through all this again.

Turns out that BofA DOES have my previous two employers in their records. Mr. Kilcourse didn’t care to check. He simply insisted I was lying.

I did eventually get Ms. Weber on the phone and get the blocks removed, but we never resolved the problem with my employer information.

You see, Ms. Weber disclosed an extremely disturbing bit of information to me: Bank of America’s Fraud Department pays a company called First Data Corporation for a product called “FastData

FastData is apparently an information aggregation service, which goes out and trolls public records for information on you, and centralizes it. BofA’s Fraud Prevention Department then relies on this information, even in the face of substantial other information, to verify your identity.

From my experience with BofA, it’s readily apparent that this information is wrong. And since it’s an aggregation service, there’s no way to find out which original source has the incorrect information, nor is there any way to correct it.

It’s also rather ironic, since Mr. Kilcourse insisted that all the other info I volunteered isn’t useful for identity verification, because it’s a matter of public record. Yet my employment information is also a matter of public record. Heck, it’s even in BofA’s own records! Just not the ones Fraud Prevention uses.

(though, most ironically, Fraud Prevention does have my work phone number in their records. My *current* work phone number. I only wished they’d called me at work, so they could insist that I didn’t work there after calling me there.)

Hey, at least know that if your account was really being hacked, Bank of America might frustrate the thief into abandoning his plundering. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. scoobydoo says:

    Time to find a new bank. The only thing banks hate more than bad PR is losing money.

  2. B Tex says:

    Actaully, what banks hate the most is if you leave a bank and go to a credit union.

    Find yourself several credit unions arrund your area and you’ll be amazed at why you haven’t been with them years ago.

    Credit Unions is run not for profit and the profits go to the members. We all know where the bank’s profits go.

    My personal credit union offers 4.85% on it’s SAVINGS account. Then at the end of the year, it usually adds a nice bonus as well based on the years profits. Go find that at a bank. F*** all the banks!

  3. BillyShears says:

    The Hell? My very first response wouldn’t have been to tell them where I work, but to ask them flat out, “How would you know the name of any of my employers, I never gave that information to you. Ever.”

  4. rvadik says:

    “Verfication” = no spell check

  5. Amy Alkon says:

    I’ve been looking for a place to move my IRAs and CDs. They’re now at Bank of America. The service there has consistently degenerated, but the last straw was when (as I posted here a few days ago) I called to put money into my IRA on April 12, leaving plenty of time in case there was a screwup, so the money would be in before tax day. On the 20th, I received a LETTER, vaguely referencing some transaction I made that couldn’t be completed over the phone. Hello? They have my mothers maiden name, and all sorts of information about me, including three phone numbers I can be reached at and an e-mail address. They couldn’t call me to let me know? On the 20th, after I picked up my mail, instead of going back to work on a huge deadline I have, I rushed home, all upset, to call the bank, and was told they just can’t call people in situations like this, and I’d have to go into the branch to finish my transaction. Well, I just can’t keep my money with people who think providing the most basic customer service to somebody who has all her savings and checking with them, and has been with them since 1989.

    Because I’m a syndicated columnist, and I get piles of small checks from papers that I need to deposit frequently, plus I go to France where BofA has free ATM transactions at Bank Paribas, it is the most convenient place for me to keep basic checking and savings. But any recommendations of a place to move my IRAs and CDs would be most appreciated. Finance isn’t my strong suit.

    And finally, if you’re considering an account at BofA, I advise you to go elsewhere. I got a homeless friend an account at First Fed in Santa Monica (on Main Street), and they were very nice and the service was great. If you live in So Cal, and have some flexibility about where you bank, you might want to check them out.

  6. Amy Alkon says:

    Oh, P.S. A guy recommended Fidelity to me for CDs and IRAs, and from what I’ve read so far, it seems to be a good idea.

  7. The Big O says:

    BTW, this Kennesaw Call center is the same one that was previously MBNA’s Kennesaw Call Center. So, anyone who’s had problems with them when they were still run by MBNA will probably encounter the same problems with them now that their MBNA cards have turned over to BofA.

    On the flip side, I drive by the place every day. It’s a pretty nice complex.

  8. IC18 says:

    If my bank did the same I would have closed my account and moved all my savings to another, lets see how pissed off they will be. Also when closing accounts mention that I was planning to take out a mortage with them, even though I wasnt, just to piss them off even more.

  9. FLConsumer says:

    @kozicki4: Which CU? Mine only pays out 2% on checking/savings, ~3.8% on money markets. My credit union isn’t quite set up to handle large, complex financial transactions like a larger bank can, which has posed a problem on several occasions. I still use them (good ATM network), but wish they had a bit more business knowledge. They are what they are ‘though, and are probably the perfect solution for most people.

    I still use Wachovia as my primary bank and they ARE set up to handle complex financial situations, such as mine. I call up my banker and things are dealt with. Never a “we’ll see” or “I’ll have to wait until Monday.” Just “I’ll make sure it happens.” Crappy interest rates, but I know if all hell broke loose and I needed to do some emergency banking on a holiday weekend, Wachovia would make it happen for me.

    Then out in the distance, I have an ING Orange account. I opened it mainly so I can move money back & forth between my CU & Wachovia accounts without having to manually cut a check and walk it over to a branch. When I’m on the road, this isn’t possible and my CU dings me $12-15 for a wire transfer, Wachovia eats the cost for me on ones originated from their end. Nice interest rates. I’m also starting to use their Electric Orange system where we once used wire transfers. So far, so good.

    I don’t see myself closing out any of these accounts anytime soon. Wachovia’s got me won-over with service, ING has the features, and my CU has the ATM network and instant transfers between accounts within the CU.

    At the very least, there’s plenty of options out there. BoA sucks and there’s a website out there to prove it: http://www.bankofamericasux.com/ complete with message forums containing quite a few messages. Probably enough material in there for Consumerist to run 1 anti-BoA story a day for the next few years.

  10. nffcnnr says:

    For this, and many other reasons, B of A has been banned!! in my book for years.

  11. Bobsyouruncleagain says:

    Hello Ben and all concerned at consumerist.

    First let me say how easy it is for criminals to get this information on their own. Second let me state that banks are actually doing this to protect you. Third, no excuse for the call centers staff treating you this way, however there are always two sides to the story. Maybe you were agitated and started telling them off or pushing their buttons, who knows. The thing is, getting by verification is easy for criminals to do, therefore, banks use many different info brokers to id you for the sake of your convenience. The one problem is now that you have to pay for it by having this type of thing happen. You are not the only one. It happens to everyone.

    There are no easy answers except to say that criminals are getting better at this and sooner or later they will either win, thus shutting down all online convenience transactions, or the banks will win by getting better solutions to fraud.

    The banks are trying hard, and the above illustrates the problems of what they are trying to accomplish. Every day these call centers get social engineered by criminals portraying you. Every day they then have to explain to supervisors how someone got passed them. I am sure they only allow so much to happen before they get fired. Its probably a pressure cooker for them all in the nature of trying to protect you, the customer. Its like saying, if you don’t protect them enough this week your fired.

    So, next time you go through something like this, realize that its there to protect you. Not just them, because they can afford the loss, its you they cant afford to lose. Sure they lose you as a customer which is bad, but maybe they saved you the time and trouble to go down and deal with your identity being stolen, and you having to call 500 creditors trying to explain how it wasn’t you that stole that car, it wasn’t you that ripped off all those diamond rings, it wasn’t you that bought 8 plasma TV’s.


    I know, taking the side of the banks is hard for me to do, however, in this case I know why they did what they did, and I know how easy it would have been for you to just go to the branch and end it. Maybe you just felt that the phone should have been enough. Well, I can tell you, today, its the way you lose everything. Maybe you should call them up and thank them for trying their level best to save your ass.

    If you think not, well, I know guys who can hang on the phone with the best of them and still win. They could in fact go down to your bank with a photo id of you and even pretend to be you. So, thank your lucky stars it wasn’t some id thief after you, because had it been that way, you could have lost everything and been left to the banks fraud department to help you sort it all out. And if you think their call center was bad, you have not seen their fraud department…Yet..


    Someone who knows….


    Thanks Ben, nice to be back….

  12. jaewon223 says:

    Does anybody remember that BofA safe deposit story of the aunt that passed away and someone that knew her went to claim everything inside her safe deposit?

    What kind of security does BofA have? It doesn’t seem to be standardized nor consistent. How can they give this guy so much beef and then simply let anyone claim rights to a safe deposit that’s not even theirs?!

  13. Bobsyouruncleagain says:

    @jaewon223

    Being consistent allows people to know where the holes are. being different in every department means that there is no one identifiable hole left where people can get through. Its an excuse for sloppiness for sure in some cases, in other cases its a way of life in today’s world.

  14. j.a.s.o.n says:

    @Amy Alkon: “But any recommendations of a place to move my IRAs and CDs would be most appreciated. Finance isn’t my strong suit.”

    Vanguard.

  15. shdwsclan says:

    The moment lasalle becomes bofA, im closing all my account, moving my mortgage, and my ira….

    And if they ask me why, ill point them to this blog.

  16. pestie says:

    I work for a company very similar to First Data. Don’t be so sure you can’t do anything about the incorrect data. Have you tried calling them? Sure, they may be completely unhelpful, but I know if someone were to call us about a problem like that, we’d at least find out where the data originally came from (trust me, First Data knows where all their data comes from) and pass that on to you, if nothing else. Then you could deal with the data source (in the case of employment information, almost certainly one of the “big three” credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and Transunion). They have procedures for correcting wrong data. Whether they follow them or not, and how long the bad data stays “out there” with the aggregators is anyone’s guess, but it’s better than nothing, and worth a shot. All it costs is some time.

  17. oldhat says:

    Golly, just write a nice letter to the CEO, hope that HE shines his glory upon you.

    Seriously, I’m sick of this King Solomon syndrome, where people think that IF ONLY they could reach the good man at the top, things will get fixed.

    Like the movies where the rogue cop or agent is finally stopped once the hero manages to notify the Angel…head of the FBI, the President, etc.

    Yeah, right, as if the guy at the top doesn’t know what is going on, or actually cares.

    Pull your money and walk and don’t ever look back.

  18. eldergias says:

    @Bobsyouruncleagain: Being inconsistent by taking a good security setup and making it a bad one opens far more holes than it closes. If I consistently had everyone’s ID checked when they walked into my business, then I changed my system so that I had people’s ID checked sometimes and not others, the only thing that happens is my security is worse. Just because there is no longer a pattern doesn’t mean its better, it just means it’s different.

  19. Bobsyouruncleagain says:

    @eldergias. Actually it does make it harder when you change up because the people thinking of attacking you don’t know what you will do when they walk in. Much like the border patrol checkpoints drug transporters go through, they always know that upon entering the checkpoint it could be their last day in the free world as some are checked and some are waved through and there is no set pattern for who gets flagged and who gets a wave through.

    So, when you change up and never set a pattern you are actually thwarting more criminals because of it instead of letting them know you check ID at the door each entry. Doing it that way they can see how fast you check them, whether anyone got through with a fake one and so on. It makes you weaker by divulging your patterns than it does when you leave things open one day and close them the next.

  20. orielbean says:

    Amy, I work at Fidelity, but this is what I would tell you. In the finance industry, the market for your assets is fierce. This is a good thing for you. The companies are very heavily regulated, sorta like the NFL teams – they agree to play nice with each other and their sales lit has to be consistent.

    My advice – first off, diversify. Find a FEW companies that you are comfortable with, that don’t charge odd maintenance fees or usurious transaction fees (to keep you money liquid if you ever need it in a pinch). I love my company. I believe they really take care of their customers and want to deliver quality. BUT. I would never tell someone to just go there. Shop around, get the sales lit, and compare it side-by-side. Meet with the adviser/salespeople at different branches and have them run a checkup on you to get their recommendations.

    Once you have all the info together, look at what suggestions or investments are common across the companies. Now you know what will be suitable for you.

    Now go back to those companies, armed with your needs. Then you can compare those specifically and see which companies will cut you a deal to get your business. You can finagle a bagel with the salespeople if you know just what you want, and not what they want you to want. :-)

    But don’t forget to diversify. There is nothing wrong with having different accounts at different institutions. It protects you in all sorts of useful ways.

  21. eldergias says:

    @Bobsyouruncleagain: In some circumstances that might make sense, but for the best security possible, which is what banks should strive for, it is quite counter-intuitive. It seems to me the equivalent of: Locking your front door only some of the time. Now thieves won’t know if your door is locked or not, whereas if you always kept it locked they would expect it to be locked. There is no way to say that locking your front door occasionally is safer than locking it consistently, which is clearly the better choice.

    If all you care about is actually catching the thief, then you are correct about inconsistency. If the drug smuggler tries to get past the boarder because he knows they only check sometimes and he gets caught, the inconsistency in the patrol paid off. However, I think it would be better to have a consistent patrol. Sure, you would not catch nearly as many smugglers, but you would keep more of them from getting past you than you would when some of them could just drive by you without checking them. It is a question of deterring criminals vs. punishing them. To punish them you have to let them commit crimes, where as to deter them you try to prevent their crimes.

    With identity theft, I would much rather deter someone from stealing my identity than trying to catch them in the act, with the very real possibility that they could go by undetected. The possibility of someone stealing my identity is not worth the chance of catching them in the act and sending them to prison. Considering that banks hold the most important commodity in our country it would seem to solidify the point that it would be better to prevent the crime rather than try to punish it.

  22. gingertwist says:

    Chase credit cards did this to me recently. The fraud detection center called, and after a few routine security questions, he asked me the name of the county another male relative owned property in. I told thim this person was not now and never has been part of our credit history, never cosigned a loan, never used as a reference, never lived with me, and I was very uncomfortable that they were using someone else’s data for security verification for me. He said they’d ask another question, and proceeded to ask what decade this same person had been born in. I asked where they got this information and tied it to me, and they would just say “public records.” I said I would only answer questions relating to my own credit history. They then froze my account. I called and spoke to customer service, and it was all fixed, but that doesn’t change their methods. It’s a sleazy way to try to create a data base I’m sure they are using to milk people for even more money.
    They have no right to assume anything about me based on someone they never confirmed with me was connected to me. It doesn’t seem very secure to verify identity with unverified information

  23. Bobsyouruncleagain says:

    @eldergias I totally agree which is why I thought what they did to the guy was the correct policy even though it showed how insensitive they were. Security iks a very tough business, there are no easy answers, and the only thing we know is it will get worse before it gets better.

  24. TKWarrior says:

    I saw the article and I just knew I had to share this story:

    I’m currently have a credit card through BOA. And as a typical guy, I don’t like writing checks, so I went through their website for paying the bill. This was pretty painless, until sometime last year when the process included answering some personal questions to sign in. No big deal, we’ve all seen this before. One of the questions was “What was your High School mascot?”. Again, seems pretty standard. But what if your school’s mascot happened to be the Beaver????

    Yes, we all hated it and it wasn’t changed to the Cougars until after we left, but that’s what it was so that’s how I setup the answer. It worked for a couple months until I got the message:

    “We have encountered the following errors. After correcting them, please click the Continue button. Field(s) with errors marked below. The answers to your SiteKey Challenge Questions cannot contain profanity.”

    Try explaining this to a phone rep without getting hung up on… 3 times. I eventually got someone who investigated, more for their own amusement I’m sure, but took the question off my sitekey list so I could get sign back on. Now a few months later the question is back up again. I now use the billpay service through my bank for all my bills, but I can pull a screenshot or do a recorded CS call if the guys at consumerist are interested.

    (Don’t post much but I hope you got a kick out of my story)

  25. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    Bob said: “The thing is, getting by verification is easy for criminals to do, therefore, banks use many different info brokers to id you for the sake of your convenience.”

    Your arguments are almost all sophistry. The banks know, without question, that the databases are highly, extremely inaccurate.

    A poor security system is only the result of those that are content with aphorisms such as “realize that it’s there to protect you.”

    In reality, a system like this, giving low-paid workers access to information that the customer never even gave the bank, is on its face a horrendous idea.

    The best solutions available right now are not being used because of one reason: money. As evidenced by the customer’s experience, it is more economical for the bank to inconvenience its customers, and inconvenience some customers significantly, than assume the costs of systems which provide reasonable levels of customer service and high levels of security.

    It’s easy tell to what’s happening by the customer’s experience. The reps are aware the database is crap, they are burnt out from infuriated customers and they are required to continue a process that they know is riddled with problems. Those that protest are probably dismissed.

  26. chickymama says:

    Washington Mutual does the same thing. Last year they were changing everyone over to Mastercard and I had not received my debit replacement card. It was getting close to the deadline where the Visa debit card would not work. I called WaMu and the customer service rep stated that they were going ask me questions based off the information from public records. I assumed that it would be my information as I was the caller, but since I have a joint checking account with my husband, she proceeded to ask questions regarding my husband’s past history as well.

    All were multiple choice. The two best questions were: How old is your husband’s uncle (she actually gave his name). She gave three date ranges and needless to say my husband had no idea. We only knew he was younger than his dad, we guessed and were right (thankfully)
    The other question was what county I grew up in. Growing up in Alaska, there are no counties. Land outside of city limits are called Boroughs. I thought it was a trick question and explain that there were no counties. On her list there was an answer. I gave her the name of the borough and it was correct.

    I have called WaMu on several different occasions after that and never had to do the multiple choice test. So I am not sure if they were testing this and did not have much success or what. I did get my replacement card before the deadline though.

  27. golgiapparatus says:

    I just read the summary, but it definitely sounds like something that happened to me recently with BofA when I was reporting my ATM card lost. The first time they told me to go into a branch to get a new card. Note that I’m currently in AZ for school, but it’s a CA account. I did what they told me, the people in the branch apologized and gave me the CA customer service number. I called them, and first the lady was like, “Oh, okay, this is for CA only let me transfer you.” And I’m like, “Uh, no.” Two seconds later she says “Okay.” Wtf? Did she even look at my account info before trying to transfer me to the wrong people? Anyway, the guy I ended up requesting a new card from asked for my address to verify my identity. I gave him my current mailing address, and he said that was wrong, that he couldn’t assist me any further, and hung up. WHAT.THE.HELL. When I called back again, the lady at least let me TRY my permanent address, because I told her the last guy hung up on me when I told him my addres… But that was wrong, too. I finally looked up one of my e-statements to check the address on there. It was the wrong address, SIMILAR, but with a couple different numbers. When I called ‘em back and gave them the wrong address, they were happy. I had them fix it. Whatever. It’s POSSIBLE it was my fault that I entered my address incorrectly, but I seriously doubt it. I just really don’t appreciate being hung up on with little/no explanation.

  28. ahwannabe says:

    That old coffee can buried in the backyard is looking like a better idea every day.

  29. rhubarby2 says:

    After reading the comments…. I have wondered where all the readers common sense has gone? or if any of them woke up and looked around themsleves lately? The amount of fruad on accounts now is higher then ever! I would thank them for protecting my account. As soon as the gentlemen went into the banking center and could identify himself then the blocks on his card were released. Do you want the bank to just give anyone access to your accounts? Take all your hard savings? I don’t with BOA but I take appreciate the fact that they are protecting their customers accounts. My bank does the same. I have been a victim of Identity theft. I guess that is the difference I appreciate any institution protecting the money I have worked hard for. The bottom line is that if you don’t like it… why put your money in the bank? Why not under your matress? That way you will always have access? Right? Ask yourself why do I put it in the bank? Hopefully you realize it is to protect your savings.

  30. tralee says:

    As a BOA employee I can tell you we are not pid poorly or untrained. Every month we are in training sessions 2 to 3 times a month. A lot of those training sessions have to do with verification of or customers. If any one in the call center I work in hangs up on a customer they get 1 warning and if it happens again they are walked out of the building and terminated. I do not understan why if you are so unhappy with BOA you are still there?? Also if your account was blocked why would you want to talk to us on the phone? If my account was blocked I would begoing to my bank to find out why. And just so you know when associates call into associate banking about our accounts we have to go through the same verification process any other customer does. And we also get some reps who are not so friendly. If you would like BOA to hear your comlaints youcan call customer service and ask to speak to customer solutions which is a department that handles your complaints/comments/compliments. BOA does listen to their customers through this department, voice of the customer and surveys. Just so you know I was a customer before I was an employee. Oh yeah and there are complaint sites like this for just about every service and company out there.

  31. mrbluecn says:

    What puzzles me is how often people complain because the security on their accounts (banking, cable, any service, really) are TOO good. If someone had managed to access your information by giving correct info except getting the employment history wrong, would you be upset? If they tried to find out what sources the institution used and tried to change that info to something they could quote later, would you be upset? I think I would be…

    Basically, when a company refuses access when the information doesn’t match, that’s a count in their favor in my book. They told you how to correct it (visit the local branch with ID), and maybe they could have been a little more caring about it, but they did what would have been demanded of them if someone were trying to access your account fraudulently.

  32. Marce says:

    “She freaks out, insisting that I’m lying, because ‘anyone with student loans would automatically know who they’re with!!!'”

    Uh … no. Especially not with how often student loans get sold to other companies. One day it’s Nelnet, the next it’s Sallie Mae, tomorrow it’ll be another company entirely!

    The only reason I know which bank has my student loans is because I pay attention. Your average student has no idea at all. (Six years of talking to students about Financial Aid has taught me this.)