"Rip Off Britain presenter Gloria Hunniford was the victim of a £120,000 fraud by an imposter posing as the star.Here's a picture of the glamorous Gloria Hunniford and the rather-less-so scammer.
"The 76-year-old Loose Women panelist's bank account was emptied just days after the woman arrived at a Santander branch with her "daughter" and "grandson".
"Personal banker Aysha Davis, 28, said the woman told her she had "a few bob" in there and had come to add the teenager as a signatory because she had been ill."
Should we condemn the unfortunate bank staffer Aysha Davis, who was charged (and rapidly acquitted) as an accomplice?
The percentage of people who engage with banks using fake photo-ID must be miniscule. Say 1 in 10,000.
How many of the 9,999 bona fide customers happen to look rather unlike their photos? Quite a lot, I'd say.
So how many bank staff are going to say, "You look nothing like this glamourous photo, so I'm going to have to run a security check," given the overwhelming chances that the mismatch is actually a false positive?
Davis said in court, "... as they had all the correct ID documents and paperwork it wasn't [my] job to pry for fear of causing offence."
What would work is AI facial recognition, which now works better than the human eye - and doesn't have to be polite. However, outfitting every bank branch with a camera linked to an AI database (let alone building the customer facial database in the first place) would be a hard sell to customers as well as a major capital cost. This scam merely cost Santander a £120,000 refund.
However, if there was an independent case for facial-ID biometrics in the banking industry (and pretty much everyone has access to a smartphone now, so there could easily be an app) then it looks rather more doable.
I suggest that's the way to go.
In related news:
"Police officers in the US have arrested a fugitive after seeing through his elaborate disguise as an elderly man.
"They surrounded a house in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, and ordered Shaun "Shizz" Miller out.
"He walked outside in disguise and when they realised the "elderly man" was actually the 31-year-old they were looking for, they arrested him.
"He had been on the run since being charged with heroin trafficking offences in April."
The police don't have to be polite ...