Crooked, scheming merchants

CREDIT card-issuing banks which turn a blind eye to credit card scams are just as shady as crooked, scheming merchants. This is the claim of the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC).

"There are just too many complaints of credit card fraud cases where banks refuse to take responsibility, insisting that it is the customer ’s own fault," said Muhammad Sha ’ani Abdullah, chief executive of NCCC.

"Aiiy unusual credit card transaction is recorded and if banks are not taking measures to help their own customers then it is as if they are endorsing what the crooked traders are doing.

After all, the banks profit from these." Muhammad Sha ’ani addressed several issues at a Press conference yesterday at the NCCC operations centre.

He also highlighted the ease of purchasing fuel with credit cards without the need for any authentication to prove that the user is the actual card holder.

He claimed that in 2007 there were 809 complaints of lost credit cards and the number increased to more than a thousand last year.

"In almost all of these cases, the victims ’ credit card statements displayed excessive fuel purchases.

"We are proposing the requirement of passwords or PIN numbers when purchasing petrol with credit cards as a form of added security for consumers," he said, adding that NCCC would send the proposal to Bank Negara this week.

He also suggested that the merchants involved in credit card fraud should be investigated to put the brakes on more scams.

"There are laws to punish these cheats but there has to be more enforcement." Other suggestions in the NCCC ’s proposal is the prohibition of credit card recruitment by third parties other than licensed banks.

"This way, banks will not be able to shift the blame to third parties if credit card users are only recruited by their own people," said Muhammad Sha ’ani.

The NCCC, formed in 2004, is an initiative between the Consumer Research and Resource Centre, the Consumer Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Mmistry. It adopts a cheeky tagline, "NCCC Now everyone can complain".

Joseph Kaos Jr
Malay Mail,

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