The fraudsters have got me

12 March 2008

After discovering I’d fallen victim to debit card fraud this morning, I was interested to read that criminal gangs cloned the credit and debit cards of thousands more shoppers last year - fuelling a record 25% rise in fraud.

The amount lost to fraudsters reached £535.2 million during 2007 despite the introduction of the chip and Pin, according to new figures published by APACS today.

The card that was cloned is for a bank account that I rarely use, so I was onlyalerted to the fraud when I received a letter from Barclays informing me I hadincurred a £30 charge for busting my overdraft limit. After checking my onlinestatement, I saw numerous transactions in the US, Jamaica and Pakistan – totaling £1,000.

I’m annoyed that Barclays was quick to slap on the charge, but not so efficient to question these suspicious transactions. And in the past when I have used this card overseas, Barclays cancelled it without checking with me first due it suspecting fraud, leaving me stranded – there doesn’t seem to be any consistency in dealing with this type of fraud.

Fraud experts and banks advise contacting your bank to inform them if you’re planning to use your card overseas – which I didn’t do on that occasion - to avoid it being cancelled as suspected fraud. However, my colleague Rachel did just this ahead of her trip to the States, only to be told they could still cancel her card while she’s over there.

What’s goingon here?

Barclays appeared very helpful and apologetic on the phone, which I was pleased about considering my previous blog. But I’ll keep you updated on how I get on with claiming back my money.