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Friday, November 26, 2010

UOB You Owe Me...
an explanation.

Ever wondered what would happen if you had your wallet filled with cash, IDs, and credit cards stolen?
Cash, how much would there be in your wallet? Maybe a lot, but rarely a fortune.
IDs, you can remake.
Credit cards, bad idea.

One of the worst things that could happen is that evil black hearted person swiping away your hard earned money. Worst, money that you don't even have or even dreamed of spending. The other thing to happen is your bank, which you trusted to protect your funds blaming it all on you, saying that you were not careful enough, and you HAVE to pay off that costly fraud case.

Let's stop all the rambling and let me spill the beans shall we?

On the last few days of December 2009 after visiting for Lynn's graduation, dad made his was back from New York to Malaysia. During his transit in Hong Kong, he found that his wallet (which was located in his back pocket) was stolen. He had some cash, his IDs, and his three credit cards issued by Citibank, HSBC, and, Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOB). Unfortunately, he had already boarded the plane and besides notifying the cabin crew, he had no way of calling anyone, or any of the banks during the flight.

During the 4 hour flight from Hong Kong to Malaysia, approximately RM 90,000 was swiped out of the 3 credit cards. Yes, RM 90,000 which is equivalent to roughly $ 29,000 USD.

When we heard the news, boy we were all furious!!

How could this even happen? Banks will usually notify the customers before any unusual transactions. Be it in a different state, country, or even a huge transaction. Heck, when I first came to NYC for a holiday, my credit card was blocked by my bank because I had never made a transaction in NYC at that time. In fact, I was really happy that it happened because I was reaffirmed by how cautious my bank was. I knew that I was safe. 
On the other hand, the amount that was transacted out of dad's cards were substantially large amounts in another country. Wouldn't that cause suspicion on the banks' part?  

Anyway I thought, 'Well, it should be fine. The banks would cover fraud cases and my dad had proof that he was not physically at the location where the card was swiped (he was obviously in mid-air flight to Malaysia). And banks usually cover fraud cases like these'. No worries.

After reporting the case to the police in both Malaysia and Hong Kong and after their respective investigations, Citibank and HSBC concluded that the transactions were indeed  fraudulent, and decided to waive my dad's liability for those transactions. 

Unfortunately, UOB continued their demand of payment together with interest and late payment charges. I believe by demanding payment arising from fraud cases, UOB has not complied with Clauses 15.1, 15.2 and 15.3 of Bank Negara Malaysia Guidelines BNM/RH/GLO-041-01. 
I also remember reading a High Court case where it was decided that the card holder was not responsible for fraudulent transactions from her card.

Being an international bank, it is difficult to believe that UOB would react so irresponsibly with fraud cases like this. 
You would think that a well established Singaporean bank like UOB would have made sure that their customers are guaranteed with protection, and yet it isn't. I understand if they want to take precaution on their part and make sure that they protect themselves. However, this is a case with all the proof that they need to know that this is a FRAUD!

Dear UOB customers and future customers, please rethink if you plan to open an account with UOB. Think about it, if they can't even guarantee your protection, what do you think they can do for you? There wouldn't be any difference between the bank and the thief then?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there, is ur father case solved d? If not, I guess u can complain to BNM on that. They will assist u. =)