Eye of Banks, All-Seeing, All-Knowing

Have the banks wised up?

Our girlfriend (okay, this royal we shit is really weird sometimes) went to a Commerce Bank ATM on Saturday to withdraw $20. The first ATM didn’t have any money to give her so she had to repeat the same transaction on the machine one over. No biggy.

On Sunday, Commerce Bank left her a message asking her to call in and verify some transactions…

When she did, an automated machine read off her latest transactions and queried whether any of them sounded strange. She pressed yes, as it had listed two $20 transactions right next to each other for Saturday night. The human operator she was connected to said those were indeed the activities that had set the system off. The reason being that it was two identical withdrawals, one right after the other and that the withdrawals, get this, were in a part of town that our girlfriend doesn’t frequent. The Commerce rep chalked it up to a system glitch and sent our girlfriend on her merry way.

Perhaps Commerce just deserves some kudos for attention to detail. Then yesterday a reader emailed to say that her credit card was placed on hold by her bank two suspicious transactions: two online purchases totalling $5.50 at sites the account holder had previously shopped at.

These are just two in a million, but it got us wondering if anyone else out there has experienced an unusual amount of vigilance on the part of their credit card and/or banking companies lately?

If so, we would then hypothesize that after The Russian Connection ATM debacle, the financial institutions are getting hyper-paranoid about transaction fraud.