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Love me, love my privacy

wendy consumer

This month, award-winning consumer journalist Wendy Knowler advises against sharing your banking details.

“I require assistance with debts that are building up due to an ex boyfriend. I previously opened a case against him based on fraud committed on my FNB account.

“He had called the bank, changing his voice to sound like a woman, and cancelled my card, saying it had been stolen when it had not.

“I had just broken up with him then and he just wanted to be nasty. He knows all my details, off by heart.

By Wendy Knowler: Consumers, know your rights

“He even applied for a credit card once in my name, without telling me. I only knew about it when it arrived.

“I just want my credit profile to be reinstated to how it was with no debt in my name due to him.

“He has done numerous fraudulent things in my name, and messed up my credit record, which he knows I’m very particular about.

“Please assist.”

Do not disclose

The above email arrived in my inbox recently.

If, while reading it, you thought the woman was an idiot for sharing her banking details with her boyfriend, you’d be right.

But who, besides you, knows your online banking passwords or your ATM card pin? Your spouse? Child? Secretary? Best friend?

Some things are not meant to be shared.

Your bank would have expressly told you not to disclose those details to anyone. No-one. Not a soul.

Disclosure rule

If you have shared those codes with someone you regard as near and dear, and you fall victim to bank fraud, such as the awful phishing scam, you can’t honestly tell your bank – when you report it in the hope of being refunded – that you didn’t break the disclosure rule.

No matter how close you are to someone or how convenient it is to give your bank cards to someone to transact on your behalf, it’s a really bad idea.

Some things are just not meant to be shared. Toothbrushes. Underwear. Bank passwords.

Don’t do it.


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