Should photo ID be required to open checking accounts and credit cards?


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Steve Slawinski knew something was wrong when checks and bank cards from different financial institutions started appearing in his York County mailbox with his name on them.

“I called the {banks} and told them I didn’t open an account,” Slawinski said. “They looked for all the information and saw that someone had my social security number. I said ‘is that all they needed?’ They said you don’t have to open a bank account in person, you can apply online. Previously, at least if I remember correctly, I had to be in person to open my checking account and give them some ID to say hello, it’s Steve. They said if they had your social network they could do just about anything.

Are banks doing enough to verify who is applying for credit cards and checking accounts?

ABC27 investigators contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS), which regulates financial services in the state. He said banks and credit unions are required by federal law
to have a Client Identification Program (CIP) as part of their anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism compliance program required under the USA PATRIOT Act.

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“A PIC must include risk-based procedures to verify the identity of each client. Whether a photo ID is required to open a checking account with a bank or credit union varies by institution. Identity theft is the most reported form of fraud in Pennsylvania, according to an FTC annual report. However, the department has no data to demonstrate that an increase in reported cases of identity theft has been caused by identification requirements for opening accounts, ”said Virginia Lucy, director of communications, Pa Department of Banking and a Securities.

According to DoBS, regulators regularly review the adequacy of a bank’s CIP program. Consumers can also file complaints against their financial institution regarding fraud issues. Consumers can use the Federal Financial Institutions Review Board (FFIEC) search tool to find out which federal regulator to contact.

DoBS encourages consumers to contact its Consumer Services Office (800-PA-BANKS or 800-600-0007) with any questions or complaints regarding financial transactions, businesses, or products.

“Even in cases where the department is not the primary regulator for a particular bank, we are often able to help the consumer in the right direction,” said Lucy.

Fortunately, Slawinski did not activate the cards that arrived in his mailbox. While the scammer used all of their information to open the accounts, they used a different phone number and email address in order to receive an activation notice.

“They could have made a withdrawal because they had all the account information,” Slawinski said.

If this happens to you, immediately call the bank and let them know you haven’t opened the account, notify the three credit bureaus and request that a one-year fraud alert be placed on your account. , and monitor your accounts for any suspicion of activity.

To learn more about the federal regulations that define the requirements for banks, click on the links. US Department of the Treasury covering 31 CFR Part 103 FinCEN publishes FAQ on CIP rule

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