Bank goes on phishing expedition

A bank down under is using some criminal tactics to track down its bad debtors. ANZ has decided that it would be a wizard wheeze to set up a phishing operation.


According to the Sydney Morning Herald, staff in Melbourne created a fake Facebook profile to gather information on customers with bad credit who have changed address without informing the bank.


The debt collections staff used Facebook as a tool to entice customers into providing details about themselves and their locations.


Punters who befriended a fake persona, Max Bourke, might have found that he was not what he appeared. Of course it all went pear shaped and was reported in the media. Now an ANZ spokesman, Stephen Ries, said that an internal inquiry is being held into the matter.


He confirmed a member of the unsecured debt collections team set up Max Bourke’s fake Facebook profile to contact missing customers. The team worked with customers with personal loans and credit cards.


He said that this “rogue activity” is neither approved or sanctioned by ANZ and it is completely unacceptable.


A ‘large number’ of ANZ customers were added as friends to the fake profile. The Max Bourke profile was removed from Facebook yesterday.


We feel sorry for Ries. The Facebook investigation comes as police investigate allegations of a drug trafficking network operating from an ANZ office in Melbourne.


Guess which staff were involved. Yep it was the same department who thought the Facebook scheme was a clever idea.


Ries pointed out the fake Facebook incident was ‘completely separate and involves different people’.