Credit card theft in the Philippines happens every single day. In fact, the credit card companies already know who the thieves are but are they doing anything to stop them? Please check out this forum topic
One modus operandi of these “gang of thieves” (maybe you can even call them to belong to a guild or syndicate) is for them to apply to a “company training seminar” or something similar. Once they infiltrate a company, they will scout for people to victimize. 90% of the known cases of this type of “sneaky” credit card theft is done by women. These thieves would simply get a wallet from a bag, get the cards and cash, then leave the wallet in the ladies comfort room. Within hours, the card has already been used or even “maxed-out”. And the victim is then shocked to notice that her wallet is stolen after a few hours.
Another type of theft is by direct “hold-up” or stealing with the use of force. And others use the tactic of bag-slashing etc. The victims are again women but the thieves could be men who give the credit card to their lady counterparts to use. But we do not have to be concerned with the “hold-up” type of theft since you know that something was stolen from you and you can report it right away.
Okay, now we know that credit card theft happens… what you do not know is what happens after….
- You report the “theft” to the credit card company
- The credit card tells you to write a dispute letter or fill-up a dispute form
- You do this dispute letter or form and submit it
- The credit card company tells you that they will investigate (yah right!)
- You contact them after two weeks
- The credit card company says they are still investigating
- You get a your credit card bill and notice that the fraudulent transactions are increasing in value due to the high interest rates and so you call the credit card company.
- The credit card company tells you that they are still investigating (yah right!) In actuality, they are stalling so that the interest fees increase and snow-ball.
- You call them up again and complain that it is taking forever.
- The credit card company then tells you that they have sent their decision in the mail.
- You get a mail telling you that you are liable for the fraudulent transaction because you only informed them after the card was used. (but how can you inform them ahead of time when it was stolen without your knowledge in the first place)
- And then the harassment and threats by “collectors” begin.
My advise is just to ignore these collection agencies and the harassment these credit card companies do. So long as you have proof that you were not the one who did it, they cannot put the blame on you. For example
- The signature does not match at all
- The merchant did not ask for a valid identification from the user (thief)
- You were not anywhere within the vicinity of where the transaction took place and you have lots of witnesses to prove this.
Please note that once you do a “stolen credit card call” the credit card company holds the “funds” that would have been paid to the merchant or store. In effect, the funds are floating and therefore, they do not need to pay the merchant or store and so…. the store does not need to be paid and therefore you do not owe anybody.
Why will the credit card company say that you owe them money if they did not pay the merchant or store? And if the merchant or store did not abide by asking for a valid identification from the credit card user (thief), then they are held liable for their security breech or incompetence.
Now if the credit card company paid the merchant or store even after you reported that the credit card was stolen and you did not do those fraudulent transactions, then it is the credit card company’s fault for paying the merchant or store. It was their choice in giving a payment even if the transaction was reported to be fraudulent.
It is “only in the Philippines” that these credit card companies do not do anything to protect the honest credit card owners. With their policies, they are actually protecting the thieves and even persuade these thieves to steal more credit cards since the fault will be blamed on the victim.
Another theory is that these thieves use the credit cards “more than” the credit card owners themselves. And of course, the credit card companies benefit from this “thieves”. The credit card companies are actually protecting and promoting the credit card theft industry and this is the main reason as to why the Philippines is not even allowed on Google Checkout out of 100 countries.
And this was also what most likely prevented Paypal from allowing our country to transact with them.
The next topic will be how to protect ourselves against credit card thieves or what should the credit card companies do to protect the credit card owners (if they really did care).