General Musing

blaze your trail

ING reveals names using account numbers #bank #risk

with 6 comments

Last week I saw an episode of a popular Dutch Ombudsman program , they revealed that it was possible to order goods online using only a name and account number, without verification using signature. (This makes use of the “eenmalige machtiging”, which is a single ‘authorized’ direct debit to an account.) And they wondered how these people were able to find names and account numbers which can be used in this scam.

Banks are constantly weighing customer needs, and security, which means that in the case of account numbers a number of banks are quite happy to correct the accountholder name when they know you have made a mistake, including my own bank ING. This is very user friendly, so when I type an account number 99999 and an incorrect accountholder name Smith the banking application happily corrects me – Schmidt – and asks me if I am sure that the name they have supplied is the correct one. This is a handy feature, which I also use often as the accountholder name contains more than just initials and surname, it also contains city of residence.

The danger comes when I type in an account number I don’t know the name of, such as 1 and enter a random string of characters and the bank gives me -S RIJKS SCHATKIST S GRAVENHAGE. (Which is the Dutch government’s bank account, just in case you wondered why the Dutch government bailed out the ING.) And this holds true for other accounts, which I won’t publish here as it probably violates my use of the banking application.

So you know next time you can just get the Dutch government to pay for all your online shopping.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 30, 2010 at 10:16 am

Posted in business, finance, risk, security

Tagged with , , ,

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Just now I discovered the whole www for exactly this kind of information. I thank you for your article that journey has an end now. You wrote the post in a very understandable way. So I say thanks and add your blog to my favorites right now. Enjoy the daytime


    February 11, 2010 at 8:28 am

  2. Nice to see, this was obvious a quality post. In theory would like to be such a good writer too. It takes time to creat that informative and additionally lots of effort to write such a excellent article.

    Jewell Largent

    February 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  3. Fantastic blog! I actually genuinely liked this way of seeing things – well-defined and concise, precisely what we like

    Shayne Ka

    March 5, 2010 at 7:54 am

  4. the post seems to be very good and very much helpful to the people who are fed up with repeated searches for these kind of posts. Thank you very much.

    Robyn Stride

    July 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm

  5. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and in
    depth information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds
    to my Google account.

    Alice Shorter

    July 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: