15 April 2011

Banks to send SMS queries to curb fraud

KUALA LUMPUR: Banks will issue transaction alerts via short messaging service by Jan 1, 2012 in a bid to curb credit card fraud.

An statement from Bank Negara Malaysia said card holders could respond to the SMS after a transaction was performed.

The statement yesterday said action was promptly taken through a joint effort of credit card issuers and various law enforcement agencies to nab the parties involved following a recent case of fraud involving credit cards.

“Credit card issuers will continuously take the necessary measures in ensuring that the integrity and safety of credit cards are maintained,” the statement said.

It added additional enhancements to security features including SMS alerts would be sent by card issuers for their cardholders after transactions are performed.

This came about after the arrest of seven postmen by the police.

On Tuesday, Kuala Lumpur police deputy chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh said seven postmen were among 13 people detained by the police in connection with the interception of letters containing credit cards.

“Our investigations revealed that a syndicate used the postmen to intercept credit cards for a fee of between RM50 and RM100 for each successful interception,” he said.

In an immediate reaction, Fomca president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason said action to curb credit card fraud should be taken immediately rather than wait until next year.

“Why wait? Now, even postmen are involved in intercepting new credit cards,” he said.

He added that he was disappointed with credit card companies as they were becoming complacent.

“They must take responsibility in ensuring the security of the credit cards,” he said.

These companies, he said, should also look into sending the new credit cards to the nearest bank branches for consumers to pick them up personally instead of mailing them.

Card holder Vanila Pakirisamy, 32, applauded the move by Bank Negara but said an option should be given to customers if they wanted such a service.

“It will depend on how often and how fast the SMS is sent to us. Some people may think it will be a bother to receive an SMS for every transaction,” she said.

Vanila, a teacher, said cardholders should also take their own precautionary measures.

“They should check their card every time they pay, especially when the card is taken away from them, like in restaurants,” she said.

Another card holder, Dewgem Yen Qai Yin, 26, a magazine editor, said the move was a good one but questioned if consumers would need to pay for these transaction alerts.

“I just hope that before they implement the move, they will do a thorough research on the matter. It is no use using short-cuts without thinking about possible harmful consequences,” she said.

Source: The Star Online


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