Strange Identity verification

I had to call one of my credit cards the other day to enable adding offers to the card online (I’m a secondary card user, my husband is primary).

During the identity verification the FIRST question seemed like a trick question.
Which of the following cities have you NOT been associated with.
I won’t give away too much personal information, but out of the four options, only one have I ever lived in (and I was only 4 years old).

I’ve just used and downloaded the pdf of the three credit reports. All three have been frozen. Quick cursory glaces at my address and personal information looked fine.

What is going on?

If they have your SS# the first three numbers indicate the approximate location of where your card was issued. They could be using that info to formulate the question.

Which wouldn’t even be the correct state.

Although it is true that the firs t3 digits represents where the number was applied for, I doubt the call taker has the first 3 digits of the OP’s Social Security Number. I can imagine they have access to the last 4. Having the first 3 and then later verifying the last 4 (which is more common a check), means they only need 2 digits. After reading the Social Security numbering plan, it would be too easy to complete the number.

The call taker may have access to some of the credit report of the caller, for example some credit card names but certainlt the score.

If the OP is fairly young like born after 1987, the number may have been applied for at the hospital at time of birth; however those of us born quite a while back had to apply on our own.

I get “none of the above” questions occasionally. My guess would be that they don’t know where you lived when you were 4 so they were expecting none of the above as the answer.

Probably not… that method, because of pure accident, would have a chance of hitting a location that the respondent was associated with. It would result in lotsa errors and hackers would pick it up right away.

Yes, but there wasn’t a none of the above. At least that I was given. And more than once I said none of those and was told I needed to pick one

The more I think about it, this question comes to mind…

The times I have been asked questions such as places I have lived, was when trying to access my credit reporting accounts. Normally if I have a credit card, I would be asked for info on the card (CVV) or asked a question to whcih I have supplied an answer (Mothers maiden name). You should know that I never have created an answer for Mothers maiden name that was actually her name, rather like an Internet Birthdate I made up, I made up a maiden name. Many of these questions are too easy to look up on the Internet. The answer you give has to match what you set up (except for Credit Bureaus who have real info on you).

Mothers maiden name could be soimething like “Burnett”, because you always loved Carol Burnett, the TV star. Your first pet might be “Rin Tin Tin”. Childhood home might be “inside Mom”. Easy answers to remember, yet not associated with you in any way that someone could look up.

So if I called a credit card company and the (probably low paid) person asked me that type of multiple choice question that is not normally asked on a call like that, I would double and triple check that I had called the telephone number on a valid document, like the back of my credit card, not a flyer in the mail or some Internet searched number. (You know there was a scam where people put fliers on car windows in parking lots at hotels; I assume to catch visitors who don’t know the streets nearby and thus would not know that the pizza address doesn’t exist. The pizza company telephone number was a scam and they took your order, then your credit card number and you got no pizza. You did get lots of new charges on the card though.

I definitely called the number on the back of the credit card. And the other identity verification questions were normal, and ones I’m used to.

I, too, have seen questions (and answers) that don’t apply to me, but I give an answer, and get my credit report.

In your case, every answer would have been correct, as far as they know. Kinda weird…

Maybe they were beta testing the question – asking everyone and analyzing the answers to help decide whether it’s a good question to use or not.