Global email skepticism

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To my considerable astonishment I read this in a piece of boilerplate automatically tacked onto the end of an email reply that I received when I emailed my personal contact person and account manager at my bank:

This message originated from the Internet. Its originator may or may not be who they claim to be and the information contained in the message and any attachments may or may not be accurate.

I can't see anything in it that is actually incorrect (and I like the use of singular they); it just seems extraordinary to receive a sort of endorsement of global skepticism from one's bank. My philosophical friends tend to have no time at all for global skepticism of this sort. They would ask the sender, "Should we therefore not assume that this caveat is accurate? Should we doubt that it originated from the Internet, since the sentence saying so did?" And eventually the sender would vanish in a puff of logic.

I think the idea of it may be to warn customers not that this message from the bank is untrustworthy but that any message may be, which is why they won't handle any private data or deal with any actual financial matter through email. In fact my account manager won't even accept a change of address notification: rather than accept the information via an account that only I can log into, in a document with mail headers that to some extent can help to identify me, they want me to make a phone call to a number that anyone could call and speak to them in a voice that they do not know. So I think it is part of a general practice by banks of discouraging use of the email medium, polluted as it is by spam, forgery, identity theft, and phishing.

Don't trust me, though. After all, this post originated from the Internet. As its originator, I may or may not be who I claim to be, and the information contained in the post and any links it contains may or may not be accurate. Comments may or may not be open.

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