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Are my bank details safe?

  • 3 March 2018
  • 3 replies
  • 357 views

I switched to OVO, paying by direct debit which meant inputting my bank account number and sort code. Within 3 hours I got a text from my "bank" saying due to bad weather banks were closed and to "reply". I don`t do online banking or us a smart phone for banking. It seems to much of a coincidence. This experience has caused me to question OVO`s online security. Discuss.
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Best answer by Transparent 4 March 2018, 18:09

Hi @bennie,

Well firstly, I can't see how a new Direct Debit instruction could have been actioned within 3 hours. There are a number of checks to be made first because of issues like identity theft and anti-fraud legislation.

I'm more suspicious about the text which appears to have come from your bank. If it's a general notification message (which it is), then your bank wouldn't be asking you to reply.

Given that you don't even do online or Smart-phone banking, just how would your bank be set up to send you a text message?

It seems more likely to me that this text message wasn't sent by your bank. It could easily be a phishing scam, which seems all the more plausible to you because the scammer just happens to have chosen your particular bank on this occasion.

I get at least 20 messages each week from various banks, none of which I hold accounts with. The last thing I would do is to attempt to reply!
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Hi @bennie,

Well firstly, I can't see how a new Direct Debit instruction could have been actioned within 3 hours. There are a number of checks to be made first because of issues like identity theft and anti-fraud legislation.

I'm more suspicious about the text which appears to have come from your bank. If it's a general notification message (which it is), then your bank wouldn't be asking you to reply.

Given that you don't even do online or Smart-phone banking, just how would your bank be set up to send you a text message?

It seems more likely to me that this text message wasn't sent by your bank. It could easily be a phishing scam, which seems all the more plausible to you because the scammer just happens to have chosen your particular bank on this occasion.

I get at least 20 messages each week from various banks, none of which I hold accounts with. The last thing I would do is to attempt to reply!
Transparent Ninja, thanks for your reply. As you say I did suspect phishing, but was surprised it came so quickly after putting my bank details on line. I am not overly worried because according to the radio 4 Money programme scammers can`t do much with your bank account number and sort code.
Bennie.
Userlevel 7
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The Money Programme is correct in that it is unlikely that you will suffer financial loss should a scammer know your bank account number and sort code.

Nevertheless, these details do make it easier for someone to perpetrate Identity Theft, which in turn can be used to scam others.

My Bank never uses my full account number in SMS or email notifications to me. So even if my messages were intercepted, they can't be misused.

OVO have a dedicated Data Protection Team to help combat fraud and ID theft in addition to overseeing the usual security of information which they legitimately hold about us, the customers. If you ever suspect there has been a breach from OVO, you should email them and mark your message for their attention.

In 99% of cases it will be a false-alarm. But it's better to be vigilant.
I remember when TalkTalk's customer database has hacked. Too few customers reported their suspicians, which didn't help.

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