Over the weekend I received two text messages from Cattleman’s National Bank informing me that there is a discrepancy with my account:
I promptly alerted AT&T to the problem, but the person I spoke to over the phone said that there is not anything AT&T can do about these messages. They are automatically generated by some system that they have no control over. This morning (Tuesday, January 5th, 2010) I notified Cattleman’s National Bank, and they said that they are aware of these messages going out on Sprint’s, T-Mobile’s, and AT&T’s networks. When I suggested that they work with the phone companies to prevent these obvious phishing attempts from reaching and perhaps duping less aware cell phone users, the bank’s representative said that they have tried, but the different phone companies also told them that there was nothing they could do.
I recognize that I am not fully aware of how the text messaging system works, but is it so open that these companies that legally rob us each month with our data and text messaging plans cannot prevent spam? If all I’m paying them for is a dumb pipe then great, let me have my pipe! But, they’ve acknowledged that our connections aren’t just data pipes, we’re paying for the privilege to be on their networks. Their networks. They control them.
The message from these phone companies is clear: We don’t care about protecting our customers from identity theft.