Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Horrified by Scotia credit card saga

Published:Friday | September 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I finally gave in to an offer some two weeks ago and accepted online an Aero credit card from Scotiabank with a limit of almost $800,000, thinking that I would use it to finance an upcoming project. The card, they said, would be mailed to me.

After dipping into my mailbox for the last week and seeing no card, I went online to check up on account balances, only to see that all the funds had been used up on the credit card I never received, even incurring an over-the-limit fee.

From the statement traces of the transactions going through, some were: Phonetronics ($277,000), Rapid True Value ($140,000), $247,000 withdrawn at ATMs (five transactions): Texaco HWT ($9,000), Texaco HWT ($9,500), Phone Solutions ($42,000), Texaco HWT ($10,500) - $775,000 all in five days' work.

A few months ago, some time in July, my wife's Scotia credit card was also compromised. She found this out when attempting to pay a KFC bill and being told that the funds available on the card could not meet the bill. We immediately called the bank and realised that following a purchase from a pizza establishment the day before, someone made an online payment to some foreign company.

Following this, we did the necessary paperwork as required, and we were told that a new card would be issued by mail. The card never came, and it was agreed that the one issued would be cancelled and a new one would be available for pick-up. When we called the branch to check up on the availability of the card for pick-up, we were told that had been mailed and that they saw where it was activated. At this time, $30,000 withdrawn from an ATM. My wife, in frustration, cancelled the card and went to a competing bank for credit services.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR SCOTIA

Now after seeing my wife's warning coming true, my questions to Scotia are:

• How were they able to get hold of people's personal data to activate the cards? Is the security of our personal information compromised and in criminal hands?

n Should you not insist that cards be activated at the branch level, where persons would present themselves to receive them, bearing in mind that you have confirmation of a persons identification in-house?

n When you declare your billions of profits, are we, the customers, paying for the ineptitude in arresting or minimising these activities?

n Is Scotiabank implicitly, because of its ineptitude, facilitating criminality? Can you imagine $800,000 in a criminal hand based on one individual, much less times others that have been similarly affected?

I spent two hours in the branch this week and was told that this can take up to six months to be rectified and that I will have to come back to look at the retrieved footage later. Will anyone compensate me for my time?

My wife informs me that with her new bank, after every transaction, she receives a text informing her that it was made. Would such a system be of any worth to Scotia?

I eagerly await a response.

R.R.