'I closed my account, how did fraudster get card in my name and spend 1000s?'
It's a nightmare when a retail client suddenly discovers an imposter is fraudulently spending money using their store card and account.
Compounding the stress is the run-around they're given while trying to clear their name, says Wendy Knowler.
The consumer journalist says she knows that if she takes up their case with the particular company, it will get sorted out almost straight away.
Sometimes I think I should be working on bigger investigations and then I see all these messages in my inbox and I think: These people are battling, they've been victims of fraud, they've interacted with the company, they've sent their affidavits... sometimes they're existing clients, sometimes not...Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist
... and the systems are just so slow! They don't hear back, they're sitting with an adverse listing at the credit bureau, when they check they've got all this money owing... It's stressful and I don't think companies get that sufficiently.Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist
She followed up on the case of an Edgars client recently.
Nazli told Knowler she was unable to close her account at a store last month because the cashier said the system was offline.
After she called customer service to check, she was informed by SMS that her settlement figure was R1, 272 which she paid via EFT immediately.
Following up two days later as instructed, Nazli was asked if she’d made any more purchases, because on December 22 purchases totalling R13,000 were made on her account.
I told her that I have my card in front of me; how could anyone buy on my account?Nazli, Edgars client
Apparently Edgars had issued someone a new card, without Nazli authorising it.
"They said my phone was on voice mail so they just went ahead and issued the card."
What had happened said Edgars' account management company, is that the fraudster managed to update Nazli's contact details and do a card replacement by passing the credit bureau-based verification questions used as an authentification service.
Once the fraudster was in possession of the new card, the fraudster made several purchases totaling R13,000 WITHIN MINUTES... This triggered an alert... but the fraudster had already left the store...Regan Adams, MD - RCS
Nazli's account is being rectified and the fraudulent charges reversed, says RCS.
Listen to Knowler recount another nightmare tale from a HomeChoice client and discuss what more companies can do to help retail fraud victims:
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