In July, I logged on to my TSB account to find my credit card limit had been exceeded. I hadn’t used my card for more than a month and when I checked the £1,200 worth of transactions, they had all taken place in or around London over two days at the start of the month. This was odd as I have been living and working in Mallorca since May, with the card in my possession. However, I have a flat in London, where my flatmates still live and monitor my mail. TSB informed me a new card and PIN had been sent to my London address but my flatmates never received them. And as none of us were expecting a card, we had no idea to report it not turning up. My PIN had been used to authorise the transactions, and TSB told me I would need to return to the UK to make a police report. I immediately flew back to the UK from Spain for three days at my own expense. The police later informed me I could have reported it over the phone from Spain and there was no need for me to fly back and miss three days’ work. During August and September, I phoned the bank on average every two weeks to get an update on its investigation into the fraud and was consistently fobbed off, passed on to different operators and asked the same questions over and over again. Please help.
Hanna Campbell/via email
Credit card fraud is becoming all too common but most banks have become pretty good at spotting suspect transactions and compensating customers. In Hanna’s case, however, the fact she moved abroad but continued to receive mail at home seems to have complicated matters.
When Moneywise contacted TSB to discuss Hanna’s experience, it admitted it had incorrectly told Hanna she needed to return to the UK to make a police report and had given her £500 in compensation. However,TSB says it can’t refund the disputed credit card transactions because it is does not view them as fraudulent as her PIN had been used.
A spokesperson for TSB said: “We are really sorry for what’s happened to Miss Campbell’s credit card while she was working abroad. However, it is really important customers take responsibility for their cards and PINs, and this includes post that has been delivered while away. We urge Miss Campbell to look at how her post is looked after while she is abroad.”
Hanna admits she should have informed TSB she was moving to Spain, or cancelled the card, but she is disappointed the bank won’t accept the transactions were fraudulent. She will now take her complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
How to protect yourself from fraud
Here are some top tips from Action Fraud:
1. Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to anyone before verifying their credentials
2. Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on them and post with your name and address on it
3. If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, or financial institutions you don’t normally deal with contact you about outstanding debts, take action. Your identity may have been stolen
4. You should regularly get a copy of your credit file and check it for entries you don’t recognise. Callcredit, Equifax and Experian can all provide your credit file
5. If you have been a victim of a scam, be aware of fraud recovery fraud.This is when tricksters pretend to be a lawyer or law enforcement officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you’ve already lost.