Consumer Council urges victims of Standard Chartered credit card fraud to call police if bank does not respond, 1% of users affected in total

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9th December 2022 – (Hong Kong) Many users of Standard Chartered Bank credit cards have reported fraudulent transactions being charged on their cards recently. The Consumer Council has received a total of 8 related complaints, involving about HK$88,000. It suggested the credit card users who still failed to report to the credit card customer service centre to call the police for help.

The Consumer Council pointed out that the incident is rare and users are urged to check their statements regularly to prevent misappropriation of credit.

Legislative Councillor Duncan Chiu estimated that similar crimes will increase more frequently because there has been recent potential payment cards data leakage in the market.

The purported fraudulent transaction was from MCMUSICSCHOOL

Standard Chartered Hong Kong pointed out that only 1% of its credit card accounts were affected in the incident. There is no evidence of a personal data breach at the bank. Gilly Wong, the chief executive of the Consumer Council, said that the complainants said they could not contact the credit card customer service centre, and they have been advised to call the police and try to contact the card issuing bank again. She suggested that the public should check the bill after each consumption, so that if the credit card information is stolen, it can be discovered as early as possible.

Wong also pointed out that in the past, most frauds involved individual credit cards, but this time the incident involved collective credit card users and it is relatively rare. She suggested that card issuing banks should set up a function to allow customers to block credit cards, and also strengthen customer service. Many victims have lamented on Standard Chartered Bank’s Facebook page over its poor customer service and lack of response.

Meanwhile, Duncan Chiu said that he believes that there will be more similar crimes like this in the future. Regarding the bank’s claims that criminals randomly tested the security functions of the credit card with small transactions, he pointed out that the transaction amount may not be large, and the cardholder would usually miss out while the bank would not take the initiative to notify. He suggested that the government refer to the Mainland practice and require key institutions such as airports and banks that involve a large amount of customer data to test the system every year and standardise the procedures for employees to process data.

Standard Chartered Hong Kong responded that only 1% of the credit card accounts were affected in the incident, and has activated the credit card refund protection mechanism, and will arrange refunds from next Monday, which is expected to be completed within a week. The spokesman pointed out that this incident was a random test of a small amount of credit card by criminals, and there was no evidence that personal data was leaked by the bank. The immediate implementation of monitoring measures for suspicious credit card transactions has achieved remarkable results, and the volume of problematic transactions has dropped significantly.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority said yesterday that it has started investigation into the suspected credit card fraud cases involving Standard Chartered Bank customers.

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