Thursday, 27 March 2008

Money on the hold

Two Nordic banks have now joined ventures.

One of the bigger banks here in Finland has been bought up by a Danish mega-banking corporation, it is among the five largest in Europe if I remember it correctly, and lately they now two happily joined banks have been ventured in getting their online banking system into one single instead of the two separate they used to be. This was planned to take place during the Easter holidays and should have been up and running by Tuesday but their thousands of their customers are still not able to access their system with all in all 800.000 bank customers in both countries being affected by the switch over and I guess many must currently have their money frozen into their bank accounts. The bank assures that they will have it up and running in no time at all, but I guess they said it would not affect any banking after the closing down of the system in the first place either.

I am fortunately to not have an account with the bank in question, but mind you, our bank did some updating and alterations on their online banking system that slowed it down for several months and things were either charged to the account weeks later than their original date of debit and some things were even by accident or mistake charged twice, which in fact is what happened to the offspring, being out clubbing. Double charging on a Visa electron of a sum in a bar made the account go null and no more money to be withdrawn from the cash machine either. Fortunately there were some friends along on the tour that could pay for the rest and borrow the needed amount to keep on clubbing, for you can not end it before the clubs close in the morning and things got sorted out in the end between the bank the following week and the money was replaced.

I had trouble getting money transferred from abroad into the account in the time it should have been there, so there for we were a couple of family members that were in a way over debiting our bank accounts and had their money on the hold. The money should have been there, and actually was in the bank but not on our cards to be charged for.

It has become very popular with various kinds of online scams, such as swindling under the pretext of charity and shopping hoaxes or phishing for personal information such as bank account and credit card numbers. Now the Finnish Consumer Agency has launched a website to help consumers detect them with a site lists the most common types of hoaxes and also hoping that consumers can by the website report such attempts to authorities, in order to make them alert of the attempts and be able to take action.

Some of the online scams are “art” performed by professional scam artist, they are so well thought out and meticulously designed and thought out that it is really hard to say what is real and safe and what is not as it looks like. They say what you see is what you get but in this case you can never be sure if it your bank has been hacked into, or a similar homepage has been designed at an alike address as the banks’ in order to get access to you personal info in order to use it maliciously for monetary advantages of the criminally minded. How delicious is that not, plan something that genial and then in the end get caught by the devious law enforcement?

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