Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Yes, I bought 16 jalfrezis, I tell my bank. But £1,000 on clothes? I’ve been hacked | Romesh Ranganathan

If the system was really sophisticated, it would trigger a call to a dietician

I recently received a text asking me to verify whether I had made a recent purchase. This is something that happens a lot, as my bank is triggered by anything that doesn’t appear to be me. It will allow limitless funds to go on overpriced trainers, but block barbecue meats or Tottenham Hotspur merch. I am making this up, of course, as it seems entirely random what it double-checks, although I am sure there is a sophisticated algorithm that says things like: “Romesh doesn’t usually buy vegetables in January – he gets depressed and eats only pastries.”

It is worse when I’m on tour. The bank gets extra suspicious because I make purchases in so many different towns, particularly since almost every one is curry. I spent the whole of my last tour on the phone trying to convince my bank it was actually me having vegetable jalfrezi for the 16th consecutive night. If the system were truly sophisticated, it would trigger a call to a dietitian.

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