Wells Fargo violates bank account security rules

Okay, this is way off the topic of usability, but I am so angry about this I just have to blog about it. Wells Fargo is my bank and for the most part, I love them. Their online banking system is very usable (which I love, except I wish they’d give me a more direct way to get to my billpay) and overall I’m really happy with them. Their staff is really friendly when I walk into the bank and they really go the extra mile to get me the information I need, even if it’s the details on a deposit that happened over a year ago.

But their auto finance department needs to take bank account security 101. If I’m even a few days late on my car payment, they have a rude person call me and harrass me to do my payment over the phone. I don’t really doubt that it’s Wells Fargo calling me, but I have no way of actually confirming that, so I always tell them I don’t want to do my payment over the phone and I will take care of it online. They get really angry about that. Today the lady on the phone actually called me “weird”. Would she give her account information to anyone who happened to call and say they were from Wells Fargo?

Banks have been trying to educate consumers to NOT give your account information out to callers. You should never, never, never give out your bank account number to someone who calls you, no matter who they say they are. Only if you initiated the call is it okay to do that. It just blows me away that Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks out there, would knowingly ask consumers to do this, perpetuating the problems with account fraud we have. And the fact that this woman thought I was “weird” because I wouldn’t give her my personal information and bank account number means that the message is not getting across to consumers, either. People are willingly giving them their account information over the phone when they have no way of confirming that it actually IS Wells Fargo calling.

 I tried to walk into a Wells Fargo bank to complain about it, but they told me they don’t have anything to do with auto financing and I would have to call their auto finance department. There is a problem there, but I don’t blame the innocent bank staff. I blame the idiot managers in the account finance department who are:

  1. Hiring rude people to harrass people about their car payments. If my account was months overdue, yeah, it’s okay to call, but not after a couple days. If you’re going to call me when my payment is a couple days late, you should be really, really nice about it.
  2. Asking people to give out personal information over the phone with no verification that they are who they say they are. By doing this, they are teaching consumers habits that only increases banking risk and makes it easier for fraudsters to hijack people’s bank accounts and steal identities.

It’s maddening and it’s got to stop!

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2 Responses to “Wells Fargo violates bank account security rules”


  1. 1 M February 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    In your opion do you for see Wells Fargo going under? Would it be best to leave some of my money here and some in my credit union? Where does a person get the Treasure bill you speak of? Thank you.

  2. 2 krauseann February 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t know that I can comment on whether Wells Fargo will go under or not. I hope not! Wells Fargo has been our bank for many years. I don’t like what I’m seeing in the blogosphere about what they’re done with our gov’t money:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hZg0wsnVaTqOQUQlur8hH6NR8k_gD964B2VG0

    I’m all for honoring your employees, but when you’ve just received a load of money from the government to bail out your mistakes, shouldn’t you consider scaling back a bit?


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