Fraudulent transactions recorded on Standard Chartered credit cards of multiple users, customer service bombarded for lack of response (Updated: 5.50pm)

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7th December 2022 – (Hong Kong) Several users of Standard Chartered Bank credit cards reported fraudulent transactions recently. All of them were in Hong Kong but they kept receiving text messages notifying them of unauthorised transactions. Many victims tried to call the credit card centre to report the incident to cancel their credit cards, but the line was always busy and no one answered. One of the victims lamented that 17 unauthorised transactions were carried out on his credit card within a short period of time. Each transaction was around US$9, which is equivalent to around HK$1,191. A few of them shared their plight on social media.

Two victims who are friends received an email and SMS that their credit cards were charged respectively in the United States. They were both in Hong Kong and immediately called the credit card centre, but they had to wait for at least 2 hours before their calls were answered.

Another victim said that he called Standard Chartered immediately after receiving the suspicious payment notification, but the hotline was unanswered for an hour, and the card has not yet been deactivated. The victim rebuked Standard Chartered for its lack of response and poor customer service.

Meanwhile, a large number of netizens flooded the Standard Chartered Facebook page to complain over the incident, and some netizens even posted on other pages to discuss the incident. A victims said that he received text messages at 1am yesterday, saying that there was a US$18 transaction on the credit card. By 8am yesterday, another US$8 or US$9 was charged again. The cumulative amount of multiple transactions charged amounted to HK$400. Many netizens also said that they received the same notifications in the past 2 days.

In addition, a netizen went to a Standard Chartered branch to deal with the issue in person because the hotline of the credit card centre was unanswered. However, the branch staff only asked him to call the credit card centre to cancel the credit card. The staff member told him that there are many cases to be dealt with at present, and they cannot be responded immediately.

In response, Standard Chartered Bank stated that it has recently discovered an upward trend in related fraudulent transactions, and has immediately strengthened relevant monitoring systems and customer protection measures. Standard Chartered reminds that if customers find unauthorised transactions, they can immediately block their credit cards through online banking or SC Mobile and submit a dispute request for credit card transactions within one month. The bank will contact the customer to follow up and proceed according to the mechanism investigation. If it is determined that the transaction is not authorised by the cardholder, the cardholder shall not be liable to pay for the transactions. In addition, Standard Chartered said that customers may have to wait for a long time to call the service hotline, and apologised to the affected customers.

Many victims left comments on Standard Chartered Facebook page with regards to the fraudulent transactions.

In the past five years, the number of cases and loss amount related to “online credit card misuse” reported to the Police are as follows:

 201720182019202020212022
(January to September)
Number of Cases333530123263371339
Loss Amount
(HKD in million)
4.85.52.34.95.55.0

 In the past five years, the number of complaints related to unauthorised credit card transactions received by the HKMA is as follows:

 201720182019202020212022
(January to October)
Number of complaints53765188329307

In view of fraud cases taking place from time to time with changing modus operandi, the HKMA and banks would update the education programmes periodically, reminding the public to properly safe-keep and handle sensitive personal information and authentication factors when using online banking services for transactions, in a bid to enhance public awareness of cyber security.

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