RECOVERING FROM CREDIT CARD FRAUD
Author : MyLegalWork Staff
It is fairly common for us to read about credit card fraud in the newspapers nowadays. The modus operandi of this crime is simple but effective: the perpetrator gets hold of the credit card details of the victim by deception. These details are used to make payments in shops and on the internet. The victim is unaware of these transactions till it is too late. The perpetrator gets away with the purchase, while the victim is left holding the credit card bill.
Any of us can be the victim, no matter how smart we truly are. Credit card scamsters use everything from human psychology to technology to get your card details. So, if despite all the caution that you have taken, what should you do if you find your card compromised?
First, save your issuing bank's helpline number on your phone. You need to do this right away. The importance of this step cannot be overstated. Helplines usually work around the clock, 7 days a week. As soon as you report an unauthorised use, your bank will 'hotlist' or block your card, preventing further abuse.
Next, now that your card cannot be used by the scamster, here is how you can proceed to reclaim the expenses charged to your card.
- For the sake of record, write an email to your issuing bank as soon as you are able to. Explain the charge and provide as much details as you can in the email. Do mention that you have called up the bank and have asked for the card to be blocked.
- If you have been assigned a relationship manager by your bank, call him or her and ask to have your charge 'disputed'.
- Each bank has its procedure to 'raise a dispute' on a charge. You will have to fill in a physical form and submit it to the issuing bank. This form asks for specific details of how the card was used. One of the easiest ways to get hold of this form was to run a Google search with the term "[Bank name] credit card dispute form India". Make a copy of this form before you submit it, for your record. Even better is to email it to the issuing bank. Each bank has a specific email on which card frauds can be reported.
Do remember that there is a time limit within which the matter has to be raised with the issuing bank. This time limit varies from bank to bank. In case if the bank does not satisfactorily resolve your dispute, you can raise the issue before the banking ombudsman and then the RBI. As a final resort, you can approach a court for relief from the burden of having to make the payment.
As per the credit card contract, the onus of proving that a particular charge or transaction is unauthorised is largely on the card user. This burden of proof is even greater in cases where the physical card was swiped at a point of sale terminal, although without the card user's knowledge. - Adv. Najma Shaikh
While the process of resolution of an unauthorised credit card charge seems easy, it is filled with anxiety and uncertainty at every step. You should take precautions to guard your financial data - many of these are popularised in the media. Remember, every person owning a credit card is a potential victim. In case of credit card frauds, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry.
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