Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Cloned Credit Cards

I was enjoying a well deserved break with my other half when we got a bit of a scare. My wife just received her HSBC credit card statement this Saturday and found a discrepancy. Found a bill for RM80 this month in a Shell Petrol station in Seberang Prai, when she had been in the Klang Valley all the while. Also RM45 fills her car tank to the brim. Tried to call up the HSBC customer service and was rudely told to call on a working day. Unlike Citibank, we found out that HSBC does not have a 24 hour service centre.
Anyway on Monday, the customer service guy told us that her card had been cloned. She promptly cancelled the credit card. At the HSBC branch where we went to report, we found out that several other purchases had been made – all RM80 worth of petrol. We were really angry when the lady at the counter told us that she couldn’t find out the details as she was not authorized or didn’t have whatever. You have a phone don’t you? Well we had to call the Customer service ourselves using my hand phone and found out that the other purchases had been made again from the same Shell station in Seberang Prai and the other one at a Petronas station in Penang. We were relieved to learn that we won’t be charged for these purchases but the hassle of calling the bank, going the local branch and changing the card was really annoying.
It seems that we were not the only ones who had their card cloned as there was another gentleman who was there to cancel his card. He also had a similar bill – Petrol, RM80 again at the same petrol stations. What was surprising was that the purchases were all the same amount - that is RM80, not more not less and all at the same places way up north. Do I see a pattern here?
Be careful guys.

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