Malabar Hill couple lose Rs 60,000 as credit cards get swiped in US

Written By Unknown on Senin, 06 Mei 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A couple from Malabar Hill are the latest victims of bank card fraud in the city. On April 15, Rolfie D'Souza (52; name changed) received a call from his bank asking him if he had authorized a payment of Rs 31,900 at a Walmart store in the US on his primary credit card. He had not. He received another call on April 24, seeking confirmation of a payment of Rs28,588, again done in the US, though on his add-on card, which was in his wife's name. The transaction was news to his wife.

"After confirming the fraud, the bank blocked my primary card, which I have been using since 1992," D'Souza told TOI. "The bank should not have cleared the transaction on the add-on card since that too was carried out in the US in similar circumstances.

"The bank asked us to submit our passport details and a dispute settlement claim. It said it will investigate the matter and then decide whether to waive off the amount. The process will take 60 days and we cannot be sure if we won't end up losing our money. The bank also told us that there was no need to make a police compliant into the matter."

D'Souza said he spoke about the unauthorized transactions with his colleagues as well and found that one of them had undergone a similar experience. "He, too, has an account with my bank. Both of us feel that our card details were compromised at the bank's end."

The bank's spokesperson refused to comment.

Instances of credit card fraud have increased manifold in the city in just one year. While eight cases were registered by the Mumbai cyber crime cell in all of 2012, seven cases have been registered this year till March alone.

On January 5, Navi Mumbai resident Soumen Majumdar got nine text alerts from his bank, informing him of as many transactions carried out in the US. The amount totalled Rs1.17 lakh. After an investigation, the bank concluded that Majumdar was a victim of fraud and waived off the sum.

Last December, Tardeo businessman Rikin 0 Choksi's wife got email messages informing her of 20 transactions carried out on her credit card within 12 hours across four continents. The amount was over Rs2 lakh. At the time the transactions occurred , Choksi's wife did not receive any SMS alerts. The bank waived off the amount after it concluded that the transactions were unauthorized.

Countrywide, "as per information by the Reserve Bank of India, there were 1,590 cases of credit card fraud involving a total of Rs948.64 lakh in the quarter ended December 2012 as compared to 1,327 cases involving Rs492.98 lakh in the quarter ended September 2012", according to a reply by Union minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena to the Rajya Sabha in March.

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said the police had formed a team comprising cops, and banking and IT experts to work on card fraud, and hoped to see results soon.

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