Interesting to read that card fraud has taken a dive - a welcome development I guess for the industry, and for customers, who ultimately bear the cost and, when they are the subject of fraud, the worry and inconvenience whilst their affairs are put right.
Amongst the many weapons that the industry employs is the monitoring programs that try and identify potential fraud from individuals' spending patterns, and the follow-up activity that card issuers employ when suspect traffic has been flagged by the relevant
systems. Like many people, I have received phone calls from card issues in the past checking up on what they identified as potentially dodgy activity - like a reasonable-sized purchase in a jeweller's, for instance. Quite apart from the obvious benefits
in terms of reducing fraud losses, these phone calls give cardholders the reassurance that there are processes in place for protecting their accounts (they do it for me anyway).
Last week, however, I had an experience that was much less satisfactory. Having made an internet purchase from a US organisation, we started getting phone calls at home. When we picked the phone up, rather than getting a real-life person on the call, there
was an automated message telling us this was a fraud check and asking us to press '1'. Of course, we didn't comply and, over the course of the next 48 hours, we must have received getting on form a dozen such calls, none of which we progressed, as we thought
it could be a scam.
From what I understand (I didn't answer all the calls) the 'caller' claimed to be my card issuer. Interestingly, the calls stopped after I used my card at a POS, which required me to input my PIN. Of course, this could have been a coincidence, but I'm
not so sure.
My point is that, with so much telephone phishing going on, and the fact that there have been phone scams that, when you start presing buttons, you end up spending lots of phone call time, if the calls really were from my card issuer and they have now resorted
to automated dialling, and voice/touchpad response, they haven't thought through the way many people would react to such a call. There is no way that I, or many other people, would answer a call like that and, if it is a money-saving device, it is probably
a false economy.
Has anyone else had such an experience, or am I becoming paranoid?