I was spending my holiday in Turkey with my family when my wallet was stolen (at that time, I wasn’t sure whether it was stolen or lost) on January 4, 2017. I had three credit cards in my wallet, all protected with a pin code. One of the credit cards was from RAKBANK and I was using this card for about nine years.
After two hours, I called all the banks, including RAKBANK, and cancelled all my cards, and at the time of cancelling, I asked each bank if the card had been used in the last two hours. None of the banks were able to give me information on this, noting that my mobile phone was lost three days prior to my lost wallet, so I wasn’t able to track my SMS for transactions.
After that, I returned to the UAE and on January 15, I got my RAKBANK statement, and found three successive transactions done on the card. The three transactions were done at the same shop in Istanbul.
I called RAKBANK immediately and informed them these transactions weren’t done by me, so they transferred my call to their disputes department, and told me the transactions were made by swapping the card at a clothes shop in Istanbul. He told me the dispute would be resolved in my favour if they found these transactions weren’t made by me. So I filled three dispute forms, and sent them to the bank, and the disputes team informed me the issue would be resolved in 45-60 days. He asked me to make the minimum payment, which would be returned to me after the dispute is resolved.
After 45 days, I started calling to follow up on the dispute. At this time, they informed me the dispute was not yet resolved and it would take up to 90 days, so I kept calling, but there was no progress. I made my second minimum payment, but 90 days passed without any progress and the bank told me when I called them, that they weren’t able to recover the money. So, I decided to stop paying the minimum payment as it was increasing, and without any feedback from the bank to solve the dispute.
Up till now, I have not gotten any response from the bank regarding the complaint and the bank hasn’t been giving me feedback, unless I call.
From last month, the bank started calling me and threatening that they will take legal action against me, so I informed them that I’m not going to pay, since these transactions weren’t done by me. I informed the bank many times that there wasn’t any security in the credit for the following reasons:
1. In my stolen wallet, I had two other credit cards and none of those cards were used by the thief.
2. I didn’t use my RAKBANK credit card in Turkey during my travel at all; the first transaction was done by the thief, so how has the bank allowed this transaction, despite it being a large amount from an unknown location?
3. Why has the bank allowed two other transactions from the same location without blocking the card?
4. I used the other two credit cards prior to the theft, but the thief wasn’t able to take any amount from both cards. I didn’t use my RAKBANK card and three successive transactions were done on it through card swapping.
5. Card swapping can be done from known big companies and when doing so, an ID must be presented and credit bill must be signed.
6. It’s clear the shop owner himself was involved in the theft, since the transaction was done three times. Maybe there were other tries, till they reached the credit card limit.
I request Gulf News to kindly help me resolve this dispute with RAKBANK.
From Mr Osama Habboob
The management of RAKBANK responds:
Thank you for your email dated September 4, 2017 regarding concerns raised by Mr Habboob.
Please note that as per banks’ standards and best practice in the UAE banking industry, the Bank is limited with respect to disclosing or providing details and/or specific information about their customers to any third pay to maintain the confidentiality of their data and personal information. We have contacted the customer and clarified that the transactions in question were performed prior to the card being reported to the Bank as lost and hence he is liable for repayment.
Mr Habboob responds:
I really appreciate the effort. The bank called me last week based on Gulf News’ communication with them.
They again insist that transactions happened before reporting the card, but they are ignoring the fact that the card was protected with a pin code. When I emphasised this point, they admitted the card wasn’t protected against swapping prior to June “as per UAE regulations” and they ignored the fact that there were three transactions with large amounts. They did not even block the card after the first transaction. I told them what they are saying means that anyone who got the card, whether stolen or lost, can use it without any security or protection from their end.
Kindly note that the matter has been reviewed once again and we confirm that the Bank’s stance on the matter remains the same.
(Process initiation: September 4. Response from organisation: September 6. Process completion: September 17.)