Rumored serious problem of Citibank Credit Cardby on 01/01/08
My officemates and I were in a car going back to our office after having lunch out when one of our senior analysts warned us about Citibank credit card in the Philippines. She said that the local Citibank credit card is experiencing data security problem and the company is seriously losing large sum of money. I cannot almost believe in what she said because the Citibank Group is one of the most respected companies in the world. However, the rests of my officemates were not shocked about this story and it seems like they were long-time aware of the Citibank problem.
They claimed there were already cases wherein some people had received a Citibank credit card but the information that they were using was the identity of other persons. Usually they were using the identity of managers and executives of various well-known companies in the Philippines. Then, the Citibank data theft will only be discovered when the false person didn’t pay anymore the Citibank credit card bills and the Citibank agents will start contacting the real person whom the theft claimed to be him or her.
Some of my officemates said that this Citibank data theft problem in the Philippines was already been featured in XXX, a Saturday night public service show of ABS-CBN channel 2. However, I am not watching XXX and I am not a Citibank card holder therefore I am not aware of this problem. They also said that Citibank had already made an announcement confirming that the data theft problem happened in their company. However, when I went to Citibank website and research in the internet I haven’t found any information about this issue. With that, even if my officemates were very credible source of information I will still temporarily mark this story as rumored.
According to my boss who is a former Microsoft employee, the Citibank data theft might not be due to system hacking. It is only a mere inside job problem at Citibank with regards to false encoding of information into their system or it might also possibly that their employees haven’t carefully verified the applications of the false persons. I didn’t know if Citibank call center agents should also be blamed with the Citibank data theft problem. But most of us feel that the problem should only be isolated with one or two departments that take care of data encoding into the system and it might not directly include the Citibank call center agents.
We are not Citibankers therefore we couldn’t confirm how terrible this issue is. However, according to the rumored that one of my officemates knew, the Citibank N.A. Philippine local credit card division might already close. It is because they had huge number of bad debts plus they were continuously experiencing uncontrollable data theft problems. The local Citibank credit card group (not the Citibank call center) is already facing serious financial difficulty therefore if the company cannot resolved their collection and data theft problem, the division might be sold to other local credit card companies in the Philippines.