Credit Card Fraud – Help NeededBack to Forum
Anonymous17 Jul 2013
I have a Visa card on an account I rarely use. I was astounded when over a three month period someone had drawn money from cash machines in Windhoek, every day, 6, 7 or 8 times a day. It must have been a cloned card but i don’t know how they got the PIN. It only stopped when I used the card in Knysna and the computer must have got wise to the fact I could not be in two places at once and blocked the card.
I’ve been asked to send the statements, 12 full A4 pages worth, showing the payments which were mine. That’s pretty simple as only one of them is! They also asked me to send the card back, probably to prove it is in my possession. You can see its hardly been used as it’s pristine.
When I asked if I would be refunded, and the amount is substantial, they kind of fudged the question so I’m a bit worried. In fact I was astounded when I said to the lady, “surely this should have been spotted by your computer” and she replied, “why should it, we will pay until you tell us there’s a problem”. But if I don’t know there’s a problem???
Does anyone have any experience of this? Grateful for any advice.17 Jul 2013
It often depends on how pro-active your bank is!
But generally, if you can prove that you were in a different place and in possession of your card (make a copy of the card before you cut it in two and send it to the bank, preferably with proof of the date you’ve copied the card, like a newspaper headline page).
One thing the bank could say is that you were negligent with your PIN, and therefore you are responsible for any losses. That said, with the sophistication of skimming systems, fraudsters are more able to access this information and, as you’ve seen, head to the nearest ATM to have it dish out the cash.
I would write a strongly worded letter to your card issuer asking how their systems didn’t stop up to 8 daily cash withdrawls in a country you may not be visiting or resident in, or may, indeed never have visited. Their protection systems seem to be lacking in a big way. I’ve had a card stopped after using it twice in a US department store for relatively low value purchases on the same day, so how up to eight cash disbursements can whiz through their systems seems more than odd to me.
Also, I’d request any information from the card issuer on whether they have CC TV footage of the machines when the cash was taken out, etc., to prove that it was not you.
Good luck!17 Jul 2013
Thanks Stephen, some good advice in there i hadn’t thought of. Someone also told me to cut the card in two and send half so I can later prove, if necessary, its in pristine condition and hardly used.
Like you I’ve also had automated calls asking me to key in information to prove its me after just two or three transactions, so it is incredible their system did not pick anything up..17 Jul 2013
LP – if the Visa card was issued through a UK bank, I would immediately get onto the Fraud department. It is also worth contacting the Police to notify them of the fraud and your home insurers, in case you have a legal insurance add on.
One of the additional problems you may have is if the card issuer tries to claim payment for the “debt” from you. Make sure that you are not listed personally for non payment with any credit agency.
One other option, which the issuer may not be willing to do, is to change the PIN with a request that one wrong PIN attempt at the ATM and the card is to be kept, that way the bank will get the card back, unless of course the card has already been cancelled..
Good luck ..17 Jul 2013
There have been a copule of occassions over the last few years where my card issuer (a major UK bank) has spotted what they refer to as “unusual patterns”. Their approach has been to immediately make contact with me and establish, through a series of questions/prompts, if a fraud could be involved.
In both instances, they have been able to quickly establish that fraud had taken place, and credit my account in full.
I do agree with StephenLondon, get it all down on paper and put the onus on the bank to resolve things for you.
Good luck17 Jul 2013
Hope you get it sorted out…
I agree with Martyn & esselle…..fortunately and touching wood as I type it has never happened to me…. I have had my card blocked, because I forgot to notify my bank before travelling to a new place.
I’m assuming my card issuers software is pretty sophisticated….the last time it happened it allowed me to happily use it in Hong Kong….A day trip to Macau and alarm bells went off….Only resolved it once I got back to Discovery Bay …
So I would definitely be complaining about your issuers lack of security17 Jul 2013
Further to StephenLondon @ 17/07/2013 07:39 GMT LP, if it is a UK issuer, if this does not yield the desired outcome quickly I suggest you will need to state that you therefore wish to initiate a “formal complaint”.
Unfortunately many financial institutions will try to wear you down to avoid paying out. To accelerate this process as soon as you get your first “no” then start the complaint process. The financial ombudsman will not look at a case unless it has gone through a complaints process – ie is handled by the (obligatory) complaints department, given an appropriate complaint reference and a final written position statement (and offer if any) has been provided by the issuer.
You will need these for an ombudsman to take up your case. Getting on the formal complaint ladder also demonstrates you are serious and will start to incur charges to the bank if it is referred to the financial ombudsman, along with adverse reporting info etc.17 Jul 2013
If you can, sign up for text message alerts if your bank offers them.
I did this on my card and found when i woke one morning in Bangkok, 5 transactions had occured on my debit card, crossing midnight by my card issuer time to allow for the daily maximum withdrawl to be taken twice.
The card was in the hotel safe, had not been used in Thailand and the transactions, Trinidad & Tobago !
Without the text message alerts it would have been a week before i got back home and would have possibly found out about the transactions.
I had to prove it was not me, which helped i had passport stamps and a hotel bill that i was somewhere else.
I`m always very careful to cover the keypad when entering the PIN and had not had any problems with any previous withdrawls to work out when it could possibly have been cloned.
It took about 3 months to get the money back (non UK) but i did get it in full.17 Jul 2013
My VISA card was copied in Brazil, during a trip there, and the people who triplicated it went shopping up to 8000 Euros. (simultaneously in various cities..). Reaching 8000 Euros, the bank called me, not because of simlutaneous use in different cities, but because of the amount…spent in three days.
I had to justify that I did not purchase the amounts of goods I was charged for, and had the very unpleasant feeling that my bank did not trust me 100%. In fact, they did not care at all.. Up to me to justify that I was not Mr Bad Guy, abusing from the situation.
It went fine finally, and I did not have to pay for any of these items..I had to send tons of information to the bank justifying that I was not cheating..Since then, I have an additional insurance for theft & copy/misuse and so on.
I also use AMEX, and it is much simpler: once you get your monthly update, you can block any expense if unjustified, the shop will never be paid, and you will not be charged. (My AMEX was duplicated thrice: USA, Ukraine, Argentina; each time with about 3000 Euros spendings)
It was always very quickly fixed.
My advice: check with your bank/card issuer the guarantees & ptrotection you get as a standard, of if you have something additional to pay in order to cover this risk.
As above said, you can be careful when entering the code, but my cards have chips.. They were copied by the staff of the outlets/hotels I visited some days earlier (Richards, Saraiva, Caesar Park on Ipanema).17 Jul 2013
Three years back, I had my BA Visa and my AMEX Gold skimmed while travelling. This is when I am happy to be an AMEX customer:
Day 1: call from AMEX – “Dear Mr Senator, we see some unusual transactions on your card, could you verify”? All dealt with, no hassle for me.
Day 2: I call BA VISA Sweden, managed by Entercard co-owned by Barclay and SwedBank – “Hi, I have spotted some unusual transactions on my account, and I had a call from AMEX yesterday concerning my AMEX card.” The reply astonished me: “Well, Mr Senator, we were thinking about calling you sometimes this week (it was Tuesday) due to some strange activity on your card. We haven’t gotten around to it yet”..
I was floored. AMEX, no work for me. Entercard VISA included having to file police complaint and a lot of hassle for me.
Hope it works out ok for you LP.17 Jul 2013
I know it’s not always possible….but I very rarely use a Credit Card fo pay for purchases/ dinner / bar bills when it’s not an established global brand……
My top tip is to transfer money onto a Fair Fx card or similar….if the worst happens they can only spend what is charged….
Oddly in my local I readily hand over my bank card, so that they can go elsewhere to pick up the signal on their hand held machine….maybe I’m too trusting !!’17 Jul 2013
It depends on which bank you are with in the UK, and is the card issued via them?
I would of course contact the Fraud department there, but also make an apnt with the Manager of your local Branch, and take as much information with you that you have. they often can liaise at a higher level for you, and know who to contact within the Bank, even though the Credit card Co is very separate. There are different rules for credit cards compared to bank accounts re fraud, and your protection varies Bank to Bank.
Nationwide, protect account holders with on line, or fraud activity on using their cards. Check also what extra benefits you have with that account for protection.
i was contacted by them once when my card was used in Australia, actually as i was tracked returning vie the Far East, using the card there. Dare i say, but the card was used only at the hotel or a major Airline, so the fraud originated there!
They were great and i helped them in identifying some of the retailers, types of places they were having lived in Oz, but they were very pro-active and all monies were recovered.
Like the others here…
* Contact and make a crime report to the UK / Other country Police (internet can be made sometimes)…insist on doing so as they may not want to make a report as it was outside the UK, but you can say the crime may have originated in the UK, they or you do not know that!)
This means you are serious about it, and have a crime reference, vital if you make any insurance claim. No Crime reference, no insurance claim, and less essential evidence for Ombudsman or County Court.
*Notify your travel Insurers and register a claim, and ask for legal assistance. they could take this over for you with the credit Card Co.
*You maybe covered with Home insurers, to do the same.
* I agree strong letter to fraud Department of the Bank, and make an apnt to see someone locally and take all the information with you.
* Print out your mobile phone records for this period. This will prove where you were at this time, as well as any passport stamps, Hoel or restaurant bills, diary appointments, work appointments, social engagements. Send them to the Fraud Dept, and copy them for any reports you make. Copy other card transactions made in the city you were in at the time, showing where you actually were.
I think you will be fine to prove where you were, and your activities in the end. The Ombudsman of course will look at cases when all other avenues are used, and you could also threaten a County Court application.
But by being firm, pro-actively supplying much evidence, being strong mindedness right away, they will know that you mean business, and have a strong forceful case which they can not counter. Often decisions are made on the fact they cannot counter what you produce even if they don’t want to refund you, and in a legal sense they would be unable to make a case they would win.
if you make this clear to them, then it will be a short time before they deal with it and you have little to worry about.
I think, as a lesson for us all, when travelling, Credit & Charge cards are far safer to use for travel, as the money will not be removed from your account immediately.
No one can force you to pay a credit card bill you clearly dispute, where-as bank accounts get debited and you have the fight for your money to be brought back.
Good luck.17 Jul 2013