/ Money

Card fraud: don’t make victims pay

A wallet covered in police tape

In the UK, card fraud costs its victims more than £340 million a year. The good news is that your card provider should refund you immediately if you get stung. However, our latest research shows this isn’t always the case.

Banks are required by law to give victims of fraud an immediate refund. Yet, our recent survey found that almost a third of us are kept waiting for weeks, or even months, for redress, while the bank decides if the customer has acted fraudulently or with ‘gross negligence’.

Given that card fraud victims eventually get their money back in 98% of cases, it seems too many card providers are being unfairly suspicious of their customers.

When fraud doesn’t look like fraud

To understand why banks are delaying refunds, it’s worth touching on how card fraud can happen. For a start, according to our survey, 61% of respondents who’d been victims of fraud had their card details used by fraudsters to make online purchases. These transactions can understandably look legitimate to card providers.

Shoulder-surfing is also a popular tactic. All thieves need to do is spy on you when you’re punching in your Pin and then steal your card. I always try to shield my Pin as much as possible, but in my experience, it’s hard to cover a Pin pad completely and still enter numbers accurately.

And fraudsters don’t even need to know your Pin. I recently visited Cambridge University’s computer lab and was amazed when they took my card and bought soft drinks at a canteen, without me ever telling them my Pin. To the card company, it would have looked like the person who carried out the transaction used my Pin. In fact, the technicians used a device that can be concealed up a sleeve to use my card. See the graphic below to see how this device worked.

How card fraud can work

Fraudulent purchases or cash withdrawals made using a card and Pin together can be considered ‘gross negligence’ on the customer’s part. As you can tell, that’s often not the case.

Don’t keep me waiting

Given that banks have to pick up the bill for fraud, it’s reasonable to conclude that many of them drag their feet when it comes to paying claims – but this is short-sighted. Treating claims quickly and efficiently enhances customer loyalty. After all, most of the people we hear from who have had a fraud claim delayed or rejected are loyal customers with immaculate track records.

Banks should do everything they can to help victims of fraud, as there are often large sums at stake that can leave people seriously out of pocket and unable to pay essential bills.

Have you ever been a victim of card fraud? Did your bank do everything it could to help you recover your money?

deb says:
8 March 2015

hi ive noticed a lot of facebook transactions on my online banking i didnt do them i have facebook account and i contacted facebook there reply was i am sorry but we cannot help.there are still pending payments for this too theres about £350 of paymrnts let through and pending ,i called into tsb bank and the lady at the counter said she could not do anything because the pending payments havent cleared please could you give me some advice thankyou

9 March 2015

i’m bit angry with my old bank or new bank is wrong really they must ask me what my problem health so i have a diabetic ty2 for 10 years i have not much ill yet thank god so i need some money for food because of important food for who is real diabetic too the bank would give me some money now but wait see happens thanks if failed i will tell health office for my important health really,
reggie andrews

Peter Marsh says:
14 March 2015

We had 4 bank cards stolen, 3 used within 30 mins of theft to withdraw cash at 2 ATM’s around 20 mins drive away from theft site.
No PIN numbers recorded in any way, shape or form, banks insist we have been fraudulent or negligent.

Shiv Mohindra says:
21 April 2015

barclays are trying to do the same to me buy not paying my money back and holding me responsible and slandering my family saying they could of done it as the correct pin was enterd everytime now I will fight this even in court if necessary Barclays can not get away with doing this to customers please help me with this

james says:
27 July 2015

Capitol one are also doing this to me, I very rarely use a Credit card but last year someone clear out my account over a few months .As soon as I received my statement I called capitol one to express my concerns ,thinking there must be some mistake,as only myself and my fiancee of 8 years have ever used the card and she only twice with my permission and returned it to me immediately afterwards ,and to cut a long story short after now 18 month of stress and worry they have done a so called investigation and have the cheek to blame either me or my partner for the transactions as they say the correct card and pin where used .I have Also been to the Ombidsman and their initial findings are the same i have have to escalate the case with them and might even have to take it to court. This is madness,we have not used the card and in the original contact with Capitol one even pointed out the two genuine transactions we had done and Capitol one had not noticed.We are innocent and made to feel like criminals Please help someone what can we do? it is clear there is a glitch in the system somewhere but know one will admit it or help .The money is not the problem although i wont lie it make life hard paying off someone else bill .its the fact we have not used the card and the law states that the credit card should refund the money unless we where grossly negligent with the card, we where not so how can the get away with this ??????????????????????????? please help someone

Richard says:
19 May 2015

have just had 7500 taken from two accounts from a bar in Poland. The bank barclays are investigating it but have stated that it is a number of chip and pin transactions which totalled the full amount. My wallet was stolen that night also which I reported to the police. I am very worried / concerned about some of the comments on here around chip and pin fraud. Where were the banks security features? They texted me stating if these transactions had been made by me. I responded ‘no’ but they paid the money out anyway. I also contacted them while the transactions were in a pending state and was told that it is not fraud until the merchant takes the money. I am now left with not being able to pay bills, mortgage etc. I don’t know what to do!

I have had 150 withdrawn from my account at various cash point over 5 days . I called my bank as soon as I realised. They are saying it must be someone who had my old card and knew my number . No way and some of the withdrawals are clearly not done by me coz you can see two transactions being made at the same time at completely different places . Don’t think I will get my money back . Please help