Dubai: It was past midnight when Fahmi received a text message in Dubai regarding a purchase worth Dh7,000 from a store in the United States. His credit card had been used for the purchase.
The 37-year-old Dubai-based engineer immediately knew he had been the victim of credit card fraud because he had never traveled to the United States. He called his bank and reported the scam before having his card blocked and changing the PIN code to prevent further abuse. Fahmi then filed a transaction dispute with his bank as well as a police complaint.
“The bank accepted my request to investigate the fraudulent transaction and after eight weeks the money was returned to my card account after the bank confirmed that it was not me who had used the card in America. “said Fahmi. Gulf News.
However, Fahmi is not the only victim to have fallen victim to credit card fraud. Individuals and businesses all over the world have had to deal with such nightmares. The issue of cybercrime involving bank accounts and credit cards is not new. In recent years, the world has been rocked by headlines involving personalities, businesses and even governments that have been the victims of cyber attacks.
Cyber attacks are on the rise
As the world has become dependent on online transactions, even more after the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber attacks have increased dramatically and the methods used by cybercriminals have become even more sophisticated and innovative.
According to Wageh Amin Abdelaziz, senior legal adviser at the World Center, banking transactions enjoy strong legal protection in the United Arab Emirates under Federal Law No. 14 of 2018. “The law can punish anyone who intentionally discloses banking information and confidential credit related to a client’s account, deposits, safes and trusts with authorized financial institutions and related transactions. The penalty is imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 Dh, ”Abdelaziz said. Gulf News.
He pointed out that the punishment for anyone violating Article 120 of the same law states: to be viewed or disclosed directly or indirectly to a third party without the written permission of the owner of the account or deposit, his lawyer or his agent and in legally permitted cases. “
Detection of internal and external fraud
He said the UAE Central Bank has a customer protection system to regulate the relationship between customers and financial and banking service providers.
“The framework obliges authorized financial institutions to use their resources to detect internal and external frauds and prevent them in the future,” he added.
UAE law can punish anyone who intentionally discloses confidential banking and credit information related to a client’s account, deposits, safes, and trusts with authorized financial institutions and related transactions. The penalty is imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 Dh.
– Wageh Amin Abdelaziz, senior legal advisor at the World Center
Abdelaziz said banks and financial institutes should compensate the customer for cybercrime and data misuse if the loss is not due to the negligence of the customer. “Don’t fall prey to phone calls from bogus bank agents or government officials asking you to update your data or account details. Banks will not call you to update your account. Do not be the cause of the loss of your money or the hacking of your accounts ”, warned Abdelaziz.
More penalties for fraudsters
In addition, lawyer Mohammad Al Najar said Gulf News that victims can report any incident of fraud to the police who will then refer the case to the prosecution for investigation, before referring the case to the courts for punishment.
The punishment is either imprisonment or a fine or both against anyone who gains unauthorized access to credit, electronic card number, data, bank account numbers or any other means of payment. electronic using the Internet or any computer means.
– Mohammad Al Najar, lawyer
Protect the rights of bank customers
“The penalty is either a term of imprisonment, or a fine, or both against anyone who accesses without legal authorization a credit, an electronic card number, data, bank account numbers or any other means electronic payment using the Internet or any computer means. The UAE has protected the rights of its bank customers if their accounts are hacked, ”Al Najar said.
According to article 12 of United Arab Emirates Federal Law No. 5 of 2012, the penalty will be six months imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 to 300,000 Dh or one of these two penalties. “If a person illegally obtains funds belonging to others, whether for himself or for others, the offender will be sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of between 200,000 and 1 million dirhams will be imposed. imposed or either of these two penalties is applicable.
What banks say about credit card fraud
Kartik Taneja, Executive Vice President and Head of Payments at Mashreq Bank, spoke about ‘phishing’ attacks and scams involving a form of ‘social engineering’, in which cybercriminals attempt to request or access details sensitive financial items, such as credit card numbers or one-time passwords (OTPs) typically sent by a bank, to complete a transaction.
“Last year, residents of the UAE were targeted by cybercriminals posing as representatives of e-commerce or delivery companies, asking for customer bank details to make a delivery. Although the details of the shipment were not spelled out, the call itself sparked some curiosity among the customer, ”Taneja said,” he added.
Challenge fraudulent transactions
Taneja said customers have the right to dispute any contentious or suspicious transaction and to file a police complaint against scammers if their location is determined. “There are already well-established rules for disputed transactions and chargebacks, as defined by companies such as Mastercard and Visa. In general, once a request is received, banks around the world carefully examine the unique circumstances of each case and use their expertise and knowledge of different ‘types of litigation’ to come to a decision, ”he said. added Taneja.
In most cases, an investigation of a dispute can take between eight and 12 weeks.
Once a request is received, banks around the world carefully examine the unique circumstances of each case and use their expertise and knowledge of various “types of litigation” to come to a decision.
– Kartik Taneja, Executive Vice President and Head of Payments, Mashreq Bank
According to Taneja, banks may choose to extend temporary credit to the affected customer so that they have sufficient funds to meet their immediate spending needs. “At Mashreq Bank, for example, it is our policy to immediately provide all eligible customers with temporary credit equivalent to the disputed amount, so that their spending needs can be met,” he added.
Coping with the aftermath
Taneja said it’s important first to immediately block their credit card or debit card and change any passwords related to cards that may have been compromised. “You can usually do this without going to a branch, through the Internet or mobile banking. Then you need to report the scam to your bank in an attempt to recover your funds.
One of the most common misconceptions is that a bank can “stop” a fraudulent transaction once it has already taken place. “Typically, all transactions are approved by the bank after successful authorization. Depending on the sophistication of your bank, it can use high-tech capabilities to detect and block transactions that are potentially fraudulent transactions, ”Taneja said.
“However, if a transaction has already been approved, the bank cannot reverse it. It is then the responsibility of the banks concerned to work with the client as well as with the other stakeholders in order to maximize the chances of recovery, ”said Taneja.