Financial Ombudsman Service: Banks 'too often blaming customers' for fraud

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Well your topic couldn’t have been any more coincidental as far as my own situation is concerned.

I check my personal accounts daily and I have instant notifications, obviously on Starling, but now also RBS since Wednesday. This morning however, I discovered a pending transaction to Amazon Marketplace ES(SPAIN) on my RBS account for just under a tenner. I only ever use my RBS card contactless, I’ve only ever made two ATM transactions on the card and there are only 3 major UK store retailers that I use my debit card with.

I know I haven’t ordered anything from Amazon in the last 5 days and so I immediately checked my Amazon account and nothing is in my ordered list. Not only that, I never use my RBS account for Amazon purchases. Even so, I still went into my Amazon payments to check my RBS debit card details weren’t there and of course they weren’t. It did give me the chance however, to remove several other payment cards from my Amazon account leaving just one.

I then contacted Amazon Customer Service. What an absolute waste of my time that was! I got connected to an Amazon employee somewhere in the world, clearly not in the office because I heard his Wife, kids and the dog in the background. Better still, he couldn’t initially find my account using my email address, despite me phonetically spelling it out almost a dozen times. In the end, I said we were both wasting our time until he did something else and then miraculously stated that he’d found my account. He then told me he couldn’t access my account because I’ve got 2 factor authentication set up on it and it just kept asking him for a google authenticator code. At that point, I wished him good day and ended the call.

So next to RBS. Well, no less than 4 UK based customer service reps over a period of 1.5 hours, took the same details off me. First one cancelled my card via live chat. Next rep on the phone, passed me onto another rep, almost 40 minutes hanging on a line, then finally, the fraud department. To my surprise, the rep I spoke to was extremely helpful. confirmed all of my details and informed me that a file would be raised with Amazon, CoLP etc and that I would be refunded the money within the next 48 hours.

Anyway, upshot is, RBS not blaming me at all, indeed I got the feeling that they’re not in the least bit surprised because there was no disputing my account of what had happened. So hats off to RBS for being professional enough to sort this out as quickly as they have. Shame about the wait on the phone though.

All I can say about this experience, is please, everyone check your current accounts on a regular basis, cancel your debit card immediately (I actually had to tell the first RBS rep I spoke to, to cancel the card!) and try not to panic.

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In future I recommend using the text chat, they’re often a lot more useful

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Thanks for pointing this out. I contacted Amazon UK CS via chat and spoke to a rep who although very helpful, stated there were no outstanding orders on my account but that I should contact Amazon Spain CS and speak with them.

After navigating the options in Espanol, I got through to Amazon ES on chat and managed to speak to an English speaking advisor. Explained the issue and he stated there was nothing on my account to indicate any fraud on the Spanish end. He recommended that I go back to Amazon UK to launch an investigation, but I can already see that there is possibly little they can do, nor I suspect, is there the will to resolve the issue. Amazon will just take a hit for a small amount of money, I get the inconvenience of a cancelled debit card, and the world just keeps on turning.

It’s a shame really, because some disgusting low life scum bag is clearly robbing people’s card details and using them to buy themselves stuff in the knowledge they’ll never get caught.

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Personally I think that banks are too often expected to refund people who’ve lost money through their own stupid fault, which is obviously at the expense of customers who are reasonably careful and not comically gullible.

There’s obviously fraud you can’t easily avoid, usually when a dodgy merchant sells, or at least fails to protect, your card details. Virtual cards are the best way to mitigate this (so kudos to Revolut and othes who offer these).

People who I don’t think the banks should reimburse are the ones who do stupid things, like moving their money into “safe accounts”, ignoring all the warnings. Why should everyone else pay for their carelessness?

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Just wanted to update on this situation involving a what I absolutely believe to have been a fraudulent transaction using my RBS card details to purchase something from Amazon Marketplace ES.

RBS sorted this out for me very quickly and refund was actioned within 24 hours.

Amazon effectively intimated to me that even if I gave them my now cancelled 16 digit debit card number, they couldn’t trace the purchase some low life made using those card details. It’s not in my transaction history, the card had never been in my payment methods, they’ve closed their investigation.

I’m struggling to understand how anyone could have got my card details in the first place. The only possible solutions I can come up with, is that someone was stood close enough to me with a portable skimming device, or I have unknowingly used an unencrypted or dodgy Point of Sale terminal when I’ve tapped my card on it. What I should feel incredibly fortunate about, is that only a very small amount was taken off my card. I’d have had absolute kittens if they had bought piles of stuff on it. And if anyone’s wondering, no, I don’t answer any phone calls not in my contacts list and I don’t respond to emails or texts with links attached.

As a consequence of this episode, all of my debit cards are continually frozen until I make a point of unfreezing them to use online or if I’m about to tap a terminal. I then immediately freeze it again.

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They’re all encrypted so it wouldn’t be that. It was probably skimmed or they guessed the number or bought the number from a breach that was put up for sale.

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I use this methode for my lesser used cards.

Works for me :+1:

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To let you in on a little trade secret, Barclays, Lloyd’s etc will print your entire arse card number and expiry if you do an over the phone payment and it’s the merchant copy that we have to keep for records :upside_down_face: so we typically keep it up on the counter

Amazon typically doesn’t ask for CVC iirc, so that’s all you need to make some purchases :^)

Alternatively, use a fake email, take it down (CVC) when you’re putting the order through and order via eBay Click & Collect / Amazon Locker