Financial fraud and the role of the banks

This is an interesting article about fraud schemes that target the elderly. It describes data brokers who collect information about who might be the most vulnerable targets. And it reviews the role of the banks in allowing very weak authentication, unsigned cheques, for financial transactions that drain the victims’ accounts. It is a good example of the link between economics and security — there is lots of money to be made by the data brokers in selling lists to fraud artists, and by the banks in collecting fees for each fraudulent transaction.

Bilking the Elderly, With a Corporate Assist – New York Times

Telemarketing fraud, once limited to small-time thieves, has become a global criminal enterprise preying upon millions of elderly and other Americans every year, authorities say. Vast databases of names and personal information, sold to thieves by large publicly traded companies, have put almost anyone within reach of fraudulent telemarketers. And major banks have made it possible for criminals to dip into victims’ accounts without their authorization, according to court records.

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