Saturday, April 20, 2013

Robbing The Bank In The 21st Century

I recently made a much needed career change. I was becoming more and more frustrated in my field. Public service (librarianship in my case) is no longer my cup of tea. If I can't get a job as an academic or special collections librarian (something like archives) I'm not going to work in my field. I don't need or want the stress that comes with dealing with the public (and yes, it is stressful as hell).

I quit my job at the library and took a position at a large well-known bank. I'm an investigator for the bank. I investigate fraud claims. I basically follow the money trail when someone files a fraud claim on their account.

I have learned alot about banks, fraud, criminals and the way criminals operate. This job has changed my life in the most unexpected way... 

I'm one of those people who never carries cash. I pay for everything with my debit card. It doesn't matter if it's a $1.00 piece of candy or gas for my car. I pay for everything using my debit card. That all changed when I took this job. 

It is very rare that we hear about folks walking into the bank and robbing it at gunpoint. It still happens, but it doesn't happen as much as it used to happen. Why? 

Criminals still desire money. 

Why aren't they robbing banks at gunpoint like they used to do back in the day? I'll tell you why...

They have become smarter in regards to robbing the bank. 

Criminals don't have to walk into the bank and rob it at gun point anymore. They can gain access to your bank account, credit cards and debit cards by simply hacking into a merchant's account. They can gain access to all of the above when you use your cards at the gas pump or any store. 

I can use my debit card in Atlanta, Georgia today and someone can steal my card number, counterfeit it on a hotel card key (all they need is a card with a strip) and they can use that counterfeit card or several counterfeit cards in Germany the next day. They can steal my card information and sell it to someone in France. I could wake up tomorrow and discover that someone has cleaned out my bank account and used my card in Australia. 

Oh it gets worse...

The bandits can actually get away with it! 

The smart bandits who participate in "bank robbing of the 21st century" are faceLESS. Unlike the bandits who hold up the bank at gunpoint in front of cameras, security guards and several witnesses, these motherfuckers can rob the bank several times over and NEVER get caught.

I know some of you are asking, "How the hell are they robbing the bank by stealing money out of people's accounts?" 

Just think about it...

If my money is stolen from my bank account the bank will return it to my account (if it's proven fraud). 

The bandit who stole my loot from my account by stealing my debit card number most likely will NEVER be discovered. Why? It's possible that he/she might not live in this country or he/she might be apart of a fraud ring consisting of several people. Those people can be former bank executives, former CIA agents, computer hackers and MIT nerds. 

Needless to say, I write checks now! 

Check fraud is less common than other types of fraud. 

My debit cards stay in my wallet. It's too damn easy to rob the bank nowadays. 

My new job has inspired me to write a screenplay. Wish me luck on the outcome.
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