With card fraud apparently a bigger problem in Britain than anywhere else in Europe, are you confident your bank would do everything it could to recover your cash?
Picture this: you’re relaxing in a pub with friends. You fight your way to the bar to buy a round. After paying on plastic, you return to your table with the drinks and put your card safely back in your bag, which is hooked around a chair leg.
Now, what if someone standing next to you at the bar has recorded your PIN? The crook has an accomplice, who whips your purse from your bag and heads for the nearest ATM, where they withdraw £200 from your account.
Imagine you only spot the missing card when you get home. You call your bank, which confirms that a withdrawal was made. All OK so far, but what happens next? Now, I’d expect the bank to tell me that it’ll investigate the matter and, ultimately, reimburse me for my losses. And according to the Payment Services Regulations 2009, that’s just what should happen.
Is your PIN the problem?
But is it what actually happens? The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) recently said it was concerned that card providers are failing to investigate certain instances of fraud. It said that many people have contacted them complaining that their banks won’t help them, simply because a correct PIN was used. However, under the Directive, use of a correct PIN alone is not enough proof that the cardholder has acted negligently.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, recent research by ACI Worldwide has shown that a third of Brits have fallen foul of card fraud in the past five years. The survey of more than 5,000 consumers across 17 countries found that Britain is now the worst affected country in Europe.
Internet and phone transactions are the biggest cause of criminal loss, which shows that there can be a price to pay for convenience as opportunities abound for tech-savvy miscreants. And this type of card-not-present fraud is on the rise as more of us buy goods this way.
Banks need to step-up
Using trusted websites and downloading anti-virus software can help, but they won’t kill this problem. It’s going to need the banks to play a more of a positive role, educating their customers about online security, and offering swift assistance when a suspected fraud is spotted.
I’ve been lucky as, to date, I’ve not been targeted by a payment card fraudster. But I can’t say I feel all that secure about the whole issue. I doubt we’ll ever eradicate card fraud, but the very least I’d expect is for my bank to take my case seriously if it did happen.
Have you ever been the victim of card fraud? Did your bank investigate what happened and compensate you?