Banks in UAE warn customers of card fraud - UAE INFO

Sep 11, 2008

Banks in UAE warn customers of card fraud

Dubai: Shannon Lowe, an expatriate living in Al Barsha, Dubai, is one of the growing number of victims of card fraud that has occurred in the past few days in the UAE, and several banks are warning their customers and advising them to take precautions.

"My debit card was copied either at the Marina or at Al Wasl Spinney's ATM and then used many times in Egypt for a total value of Dh15,000 in various transactions, in shops such as pharmacies and sports stores," she wrote to Gulf News.

She can't recall which bank's ATM she used since she uses several banks' machines.

Her bank, Lloyds TSB Middle East, reimbursed the entire amount within a day.


HSBC, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi are among the banks that have notified their customers of recent attacks and have advised them to change their PIN numbers to avoid falling victim to this fraud.

And most banks whose customers have been victims are investigating these cases.

"The magnitude of the problem is not so big," said Abdullah Qasim, chairman of Network International, a subsidiary of Emirates NBD.

"But our bank has advised customers who have used the ATMs of a particular bank so far - not sure whether other banks' ATMs - to either change their PIN, or in some cases have been issued new cards."

Caution at ATMs

HSBC has instructed its customers via SMS to change their PIN numbers at any of its ATMs and, according to a statement released to the press, has refunded the "small number of our customers that have been affected."

All banks reiterate that customers must exercise caution when operating ATMs.

"The bank advises customers to remain vigilant and to contact their bank if they notice anything unusual about an ATM which could indicate a card reader or camera has been fixed," said Julian Ashall, COO at Lloyds TSB Middle East, told Gulf News.

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