Ultra-Cautious filter
November 26, 2011 10:03 AM   Subscribe

New checks came in and after my name the "Sr." designation is used. My father and I share the same name and technically I am a "Jr", though I have never used that designation either. I am concerned about identity issues, should I be?

I recently switched from one of the big banks to a smaller shop. I am very happy about no longer having to pay ATM fees and even more happy about earning some interest on the money on my checking account. However the new bank's set of personal checks came in yesterday with the following designation:

First Name Last Name, Sr.

My father and I share the same name and even though I have never used "Jr" or "II" I am always concerned about being confused with him. Should I be concerned about this or should I just go on with my business?
posted by The1andonly to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd be concerned and change them immediately. You never know what could go wrong.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:06 AM on November 26, 2011

I would be concerned. For one thing, every bank I've ever worked with has been careful to make sure the name on the account was exactly the way I wanted it. I'm curious where the "Sr." got introduced into this process (do you and your father both have accounts at the same bank?). I would even expect the bank to swallow the cost of new checks here.

In 99% of cases, of course, it isn't going to matter, but it just might matter someday when it's most inconvenient (as these things tend to). Make sure that the checks match your other identification.
posted by dhartung at 10:13 AM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

From a legal perspective, you can call yourself whatever you like so long as it is not with the intent to defraud, so don't worry about going to jail for identity theft or anything so long as you arn't actually stealing anyone's identity. However, this does have a good chance of causing many different kinds of unpleasant and unnecessary confusion, so I'd go down to your local branch and get them changed. They shouldn't charge you.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:16 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, better safe than sorry. The bank screwed up; they owe you new checks. And find out if your father also has an account there, which might explain this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:06 AM on November 26, 2011

The checks should only have the name and address that you provided the bank. If you didn't give that information to the bank it should never have made it to your checks. Have them correct it - the mistakes that the bank or printing company make are corrected free of charge.

You might ask the bank how the error occurred, just as an FYI, since this shouldn't have happened unless perhaps your father also banks there. (Not even then, but it could be behind the error.) Or it could just be a simple error and it's a coincidence that you're a junior.
posted by shoesietart at 11:10 AM on November 26, 2011

My father & I run into this problem all the time. It's not terrible, just annoying. Yes, make the bank fix the checks to match the name om your preferred photo ID (Driver's License, Passport, etc). The only other issue you may run into a problem is with credit reports; occasionally, one the of my Dad's accounts appears on my credit report (and vice versa). A couple of phone calls to the account issuer & the credit reporting agency clears it up (you want to confirm the SSN# is correct for you).
posted by KingEdRa at 2:09 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

As a funny aside, not relevent to your case at all. I used to work for a corporate credit reporting company, this is about 8+ years ago now, we were cleaning up our data and trying to improve the quality of the searches, making sure to give the credit rating for exactly who you search for, and not accidentally give out too much data, or match a second person who happened to have a similar name.

We found someone in New Zealand who shared the same name as his father and his grand-father who was previously not coming up in any search results because he shared the same name and same address! Because he shared the same name and lived under the same roof none of his loan-defaults or wound up companies were showing on his report. Yay software!

It turns out that he, his father, and his grandfather were all serial bad credit. And because they lived in the same house, had the same names, our software, as well as the software of our competitors, was obeying privacy guidelines and not returning credit reports of all the people who lived there because it was somewhat ambiguous, and instead returning no records at all. This was facilitating them performing all sorts of bad business practices, and whenever a credit report or trade credit check was done, to the credit reporting agency they looked like perfect credit.
posted by Jerub at 10:01 AM on November 27, 2011

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