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It's been a bad month for fraud; luckily the money is back in my business account, but the credit card still has £100-odd of transactions from India on. The credit card provider had plenty of time to notice them, write to me, block my card and I spoke to them the day we landed to say no, I have not been to India, these are not my charges. Even so, they will still take the money from my bank account and refund me 'on the next statement'. I shall be discussing this with them again tomorrow, when there is a supervisor to speak to, as this is not the way I expect John Lewis to behave (current plan: cancel direct debit, make payment of legitimate transactions, tell them I do not intend to lend them the money to cover the fraudulent transactions and will take it to the financial ombudsman if they charge me interest on the money I don't owe them).

The last time this happened, I noticed the difference between how different banks and issuers handled this. First Direct handled it without any fuss, as did Nationwide and Alliance & Leicester. Egg said they would not take the money and then did, promised to refund it immediately (over £5,000 because it was over the Christmas break) and didn't; I was very grateful to First Direct for asking why I was asking about the same transaction every day and revoking it under the Direct Debit Guarantee on the spot. It took weeks to get back the lost interest and overdraft charges involved.

This time, MBNA said they will take the money and refund on a later statement even though the direct debit payment would not be raised for a couple of days; First Direct said if it was their credit card either they would not take it or they would refund it as soon as they could. What do other banks do? If you've found fraudulent transactions and you'd like to share your experiences at how it was dealt with, please do (and I've never asked this before, but please do pass this on to your friends list if you feel it's appropriate - I think a wide sampling of responses could be useful to quite a few people. I currently have the poll and responses set as public: if you feel the responses should be private, do say in a comment and I will change them and publish a summary instead). Thanks...

Poll #1304161 Credit card fraud

Have you suffered from credit card fraud?

Yes - more than once

Who noticed the fraud?

I saw it on my statement
My credit card provider asked me about it
My credit card provider blocked my card because of it

Which credit card provider is responsible - if you're happy to say

Did your credit card provider charge you for the fraudulent transactions?

No, they took them off the bill
Yes, but they refunded the charge within a few days
Yes, and they didn't refund the charge until the next statement



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
25th Nov, 2008 19:53 (UTC)
...when I say "they took them off the bill" what happened was that because my account was clear, they just closed that credit card account and opened a new one, with new numbers, PINs, everything. Apart from having to wait a while for all the new stuff to turn up (and a few crossed wires, where I'd noticed the transactions and told them, then they noticed them and told me, and in the end there were two open actions on the same batch of transactions...), I was quite happy with the outcome.
25th Nov, 2008 20:00 (UTC)
They can't charge you -- DD guarantee is absolutely relevant here. They *can* leave them on the bill.

Last time was Egg, I spotted the charges. But Egg's driving me mad now because they keep ringing me to verify trivial payments (one of £11.50, one of £20, that sort of thing).
25th Nov, 2008 21:41 (UTC)
Egg is driving me mad too. They've offered to take me off the automatic thing where the computer phones and doesn't leave a message. Don't know if that will help.
25th Nov, 2008 23:25 (UTC)
I pay the bill in full by direct debit and I asked FD as my bank what they thought the positions was and their credit fraud chap said 'we don't do it but it's not against the rules to do it'; I shall be raising the DD agreement with them when I call tomorrow

I half believe my refund may be what triggered a change in Egg's t&c's a few years back because it came very quickly after it and direct debit runs a two strikes rule
25th Nov, 2008 21:27 (UTC)
I had a new SMILE (co-op) visa card cloned before I even got it. The bank spotted the "unusual" activity. Either I never saw the charges or they were cleared quickly.

I had a company NatWest business card used to download a couple of PAGES of iTunes. I never use it. But the bank didn't noticed until I harumphed. Took a week or two but they did credit back all the fraudulent charges.

Egg *often* phone to check. Today I bought somethign from a USA site and the phone was ringing before I finished saving a copy of teh confirmation page. This is good. But when Liz uses her Egg card abroad, they phone HERE to check, and of course if she *is* abroad, she can't confirm... I think she *eventually* persuaded them to take he rmobile number instead of the home number as Default Contact Point, but it was a fight.

25th Nov, 2008 23:29 (UTC)
Lloyds will text on all foreign transactions; that would quickly get expensive if you actually were abroad!
26th Nov, 2008 09:32 (UTC)
That;s logical. Not.
25th Nov, 2008 23:24 (UTC)
No, not yet, although now I probably will (not that I use or have a credit card any more these days).
26th Nov, 2008 11:01 (UTC)
Not suffered from fraud - yet - thank goodness, fingers crossed etc.

But screw ups like a double payment being taken, yes. Barclaycard were useless - coz their call centre was staffed by people with English skills inadequate for anything but the simplest queries. Once they were off script, they were lost.

Fortunately the company who'd made the initial error were quick to resolve it from their end.
27th Nov, 2008 17:43 (UTC)
I had a horrendous time with Lloyds Bank a few years back (this may have been before they became Lloyds TSB, I forget). There was a transaction on my credit card with them which was blatantly obviously fraudulent (in Cardiff as a "card present" when I had been in Croydon that day, and also conveniently close to what I suspect the floor limit would have been for that particular store). I disputed it and they sent me a copy of the slip and said "look! your signature!" I pointed out that they had my signature on file, and that the one on the fraudulent slip looked absolutely nothing like it (my signature recognisably includes my name, too). Eventually they removed the charge but it took about three months to get sorted out, and it was one of the things that contributed to me switching banks a month or so later.
27th Nov, 2008 17:48 (UTC)
No fraud yet.

My Tesco Platinum card has been blocked a few times(!), because they have a hair trigger policy. None of the blocks has been very long, and they're almost always because I've made a purchase over the 'Net. They block, and then ring.

The last couple of times, I've realised before they rang what was about to happen.

I did ring them up to tell them when I was about to go to Japan, just to keep them from blocking it the moment we landed. I also made a small purchase at Heathrow, and another at Narita, just to lay the right trail.

Personally, if given the option, I'd keep it this way.

I have, very occasionally, seen something a little strange on an upcoming statement and had to Google to work out what it could have been, since payee names aren't always obvious. The last time was this morning, the previous time a couple of years ago.
27th Nov, 2008 19:45 (UTC)
They phoned me, asked me if I had made those transactions, and, when they learned I had not, closed the account, sent me a new credit card, and transferred those transactions that I said were mine. I received the credit card within two days.

I was not charged for any of this - but they admitted it was their fault. Apparently they had lost quite a lot of data, and were watching all their accounts for trouble. Also, I have been with them since they started issuing credit cards,and with the bank since 1967 - the result of which is that one teller remarked that she had never seen an internal credit rating quite as good as mine. (I missed payment once in over 40 years.)

Edited at 2008-11-27 19:46 (UTC)
28th Nov, 2008 12:48 (UTC)
My comment is that the initial charge was for over a thousand pounds so it simply pushed my card over its credit limit at the time. After I spoke to the company, they blocked the card and started the procedure to refund and reissue but amazingly a further 6 transactions took place after it was blocked (all for amounts of 30 pounds or so). It took 2 weeks to get back the 1000 but I was furious they let others go through and got them reversed in 24 hours.
29th Nov, 2008 12:47 (UTC)
It was a few years ago, on my Bank of Scotland MasterCard. One month I noticed someone had spent about $10AU on my card, I phoned the fraud dept. and they cancelled the transaction. Same again the next month and the bank cancelled the transactions and issued me a new card/number with no hassle at all.

The total amount was less than $20AU on things like a Quantas teddy bear and some very cheap groceries. Most odd it was.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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Mary Branscombe
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