Banks gone too far on online fraud?
A few weeks ago, I made an online credit card purchase. The transaction took place in Gibraltar, where the website is run (and no, it was not porn). While this was a small transaction of under £5, within minutes my bank called to inform me that the card has been temporarily blocked.
I was left with what was akin to a limited paypal account. Just with some actual existant customer service.
But when it comes to stopping bank fraud, are UK banks throwing out the baby with the bathwater? At what point does bank vigilance begin to seriously crimp consumer spending?
There is much to be said for hypervigilant banks taking the initiative and trying to stop fraud when they can. You can't blame them: online bank fraud accounted for £52.5 million in 2008, and "card-not-present" fraud totalled £328.4 million last year. This accounts for more than half of card fraud crimes in the UK.
So should I feel relieved rather than annoyed that they confirmed the transaction with me? The banks have to walk a fine line: they have to be vigilant enough to halt fraud where they can and yet allow customers access to their own money. The online threat of fraud is very real. Since 2006, the Sinowal trojan (also known as Torpig and Mebroot) has compromised 270,000 bank accounts and 240,000 credit and debit cards from financial institutions in the UK, US, Australia, and Poland. Interestingly, no accounts from Russia were compromised. I wonder why.
Have you been pleasantly surprised by your bank checking on transactions you've made, or frustrated and annoyed by them blocking your cards / accounts for utterly ridiculous reasons, making it complex for you to lift the block? Do you consider it a necessary intrusion, or do you think they're going too far and putting the brakes on legitimate credit card spending?
Let's hear your thoughts!