How many of us have been asked to provide copies of passports or drivers license as proof of indentity? Standard practice at interview I believe? How many know that is actually illegal? Yep, it is illegal to make copies of a government-issued document, whatever the purpose.
So this morning I received this:
Thank you for placing an order with Ash Online. Before we dispatch your order we must ask you for additional authentication details. Our fraud department have requested you provide e.g. a driving license or passport as proof of identification.
We apologise for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding about our need to implement these additional security measures. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. We will wait to receive a scan of your additional document/s before we dispatch your parcel.
Yesterday I was trying to buy a pair of shoes, pink leather high tops if you must know, and all hell broke loose. My beloved digital-phobe Mum gave me her credit card number (she lives in Italy so it’s (urgh) a “foreign card”) and told me to buy myself a pair of highly coveted shoes, brilliant! I thought. Once on the Ash website I entered her name and her Italian address as the cardholder but put my email, and delivery address. Obviously this sent all sorts of alarm bells to their fraud department. Without commenting how sad it is than even a shoe store has a fraud department, I understand their alarm. It does look dodgy. Especially because, bless her, my mother never activated the “3D password” for her credit card. Even more alarm bells I bet when the site rejected the payment (twice). I can’t blame Ash for being alert but it makes me ponder that what they asked for was a copy of my private identification document. I take it because they are supposedly (that’s up for a long debate) harder to fake.
So I have instead replied like this:
[…] I appreciate you have a fraud department (for a shoe store??) but this is getting a bit crazy. It is illegal to make copies of official government documents such as passports and drivers licenses so, no, I won’t be sending one. If you want to know who I am, I work for a government agency and you can find me here: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/INFD-9C3KYB I also have a fairly large digital footprint which is easy to track just by googling me. Gabriella is my Mum and since your site only gives the option of one name and she was paying for it I put hers in not mine. All very innocent.