/ Money

Does your bank alert you to fraudulent activity on your card?

I’m always wary of answering withheld numbers. The past few years spent fighting back offers of new phone contracts and fictitious compensation claims have me hanging up when I see ‘no caller ID’.

But having relented a couple of weeks ago, it was an unknown call I was glad to receive.

A recorded message purporting to be from my bank told me that it had intercepted fraud on my account, and that I must call the bank immediately. Worried, I did just that.

Having gone through the security checks, I was alerted to the fact that an hour previously, someone had attempted to purchase £1,700 worth of jewellery in the north of England using my old debit card – a card I had destroyed months ago. I was reassured by Barclays that the transaction was blocked, and that any money that had been debited from my account was already reinstated.

Investigating card fraud

I’m not the only one who has been pleasantly surprised by a bank’s efficiency in preventing fraud. Our investigation into card fraud in Which? Money last month shows high levels of satisfaction with the way that credit and debit card providers respond to fraud, and contains plenty of stories where fraud victims have been dealt with sympathetically.

Yet there’s still room for improvement. We also found many people who’ve waited more than a month to get their money reimbursed, with a minority waiting between three and six months. Indeed, the financial regulator has announced that it’s going to look into delays in fraud refunds.

But with £450m lost to card fraud last year alone, it’s encouraging to see that the banks are fighting on your behalf. And I’m happy to endure the odd sales call if it means that my money is protected.

Have you been affected by card fraud? How did your bank respond to the fraud – was it quick to reimburse you?

Comments
Member

I have never been victim of card fraud to the best of my knowledge. When I have investigated suspicious payments they have been genuine. Some companies use different names for trading and billing, which is confusing. An unexpected benefit of using contactless payment has been to encourage me to check statements carefully.

I would be interested to know how the fraud on Gareth’s account was perpetrated. It’s good that Barclays blocked the transaction but is there any possibility that a rogue employee was responsible?

Member

A few years ago, First Direct called me about a suspected fraud on a card. I can’t even remember whether it was a genuine transaction but £1 had been put through. They explained fraudsters sometimes put through £1 to see if the card works before putting through a larger amount.

I never give bank details to FD if they do call me. I always call them back and ask for the right department. They are always happy to do that. Sometimes I give wrong password info just to make sure.

Member
Sophie Gilbert says:
5 October 2014

I haven’t yet been the victim of card fraud, but sometimes banks can be a little too efficient in their fight against it. I have been embarrassed several times by Santander stopping me (in italics) from using my own credit card. What is bizarre about this is that it has happened often on a Thursday night at a pub or restaurant, and I have gone to the pub or restaurant on a Thursday night for years and years and years. Hardly an unusual transaction. I now use my Santander card only for online purchases, and it’s been OK so far. The only reason why I stick with it is that thanks to it I get vouchers to spend at the House of Fraser’s, which I enjoy very much. The day Santander stops giving out the vouchers is the day I tear this card in two.

Member

There is a simple solution that could cut a lot of credit card fraud.

Credit card companies could set the credit limit of a card and the let the card holder control their own upper limit within that amount depending on their spending habits. Any time a person wants to spend more, they could up their own limit to cover the amount.

I used to keep one card with a very low limit just for internet shopping. The amount was initially £200 then it had to be £300, then they kept putting it up, and I kept getting it reduced.

It was not a problem to ask for the limit to be increased for one month only until one time they gave me the 3rd degree asking for a £200 increase even though there was a substantial amount in my current account at the time and my credit cards have always been paid in full every month. The questions would have been understandable if I had been asking for a £10,000 loan and my banking habits questionable, but since then I have let the credit limit go up and now the limit is £7000.

Member
Bookworm says:
5 October 2014

When the spending limit on my card kept increasing I phoned and asked for that not to happen. I was questioned closely as to why but when I said I wanted (1) to ensure that if my card was stolen there was a limit on what could be spent and (2) I would never spend the limit they were imposing so I didn’t want it – simple as that. They now don’t increase my limit and I am happy with what it currently is.

I was a victim of card fraud – through my own stupidity – and I am usually so careful and astute, but got caught out. As soon as I realised – moments after making the mistake – I contacted my banks who were able to spot a small transaction which wasn’t mine when we examined closely, but would not really have raised any suspicions at all. The transaction was stopped and the money – less than £30 – was refunded back to my account. Thank you Tesco.

Member

I’m glad they’ve never done a convo on card limits, I’d hate to mention what mine was (is).

Member

I’ve not suffered card fraud, but have had my card company ring me two or three times on my mobile to check that a transaction I had just made was legitimate. I’m glad they keep watch.
Also good to hear nice things said about banks!

Member
Bookworm says:
5 October 2014

I would agree – I made a large transaction and before I had finished signing the other documents associated with it my phone went off and my card provider was querying that the transaction was bona fide. Can’t complain about that at all (nor would I).