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Posted On: 29 July 2008 07:55 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Credit Fraudsters - You can't win in Qatar

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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Credit card holders should be vigilant in using their cards to avoid fraudsters, a bank official said yesterday. Last week, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested four people for forging credit cards to purchase items worth QR500,000 from different shops. It was also found that the offenders had committed similar crimes in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. "There are many ways of carrying out credit card fraud. Being responsible and cautious is the key to combat the crime," Manu Joseph, AGM and Head of Cards, Commercialbank Cards Group, told The Peninsula in an exclusive interview yesterday. Cardholders should periodically check their accounts, subscribe to SMS service of the bank, keep their receipts and not just leave them in conspicuous places, Joseph added. Asked of the possibility of credit card fraud when a cardholder uses the ATM machine, he said that it is quite remote with the security measures being implemented by banks in Qatar like the presence of cameras and the use of Chip and PIN. However, he warned against suspicious people hanging around when a customer is using an ATM machine. The introduction of Chip and PIN cards, which has been part of a joint effort among banks in Qatar to combat fraud has proved to reduce if not eliminate the illegal practices since it makes it harder for fraudsters to counterfeit. But in other countries where Chip and PIN cards are not yet used and only the magnetic strip card is utilised, fraud is common, so cardholders should be extra careful in making transactions. "Another measure that banks have imposed is on the receipt wherein the card number is not revealed to prevent fraud," Joseph said. "One of the most common credit card frauds takes place in restaurants when a customer entrusts his card to a crew. It just takes a little effort to personally make the payment without having the credit card out of your sight," he explained. He also advised cardholders not to believe some Internet offers which are too good to be true. He, however, said that Internet shopping is safe provided that the site is legitimate and the customer checks his account regarding his purchase. It can be noted that there had been some attempts from fraudsters to victimise bank customers by sending emails purportedly originating from banks. The said emails that recently penetrated the Internet circuit were fraudulently obtaining information from account holders. The upper court last month confirmed the five-year sentence of two tourists and two residents for importing and using fake credit cards in Qatar. The Pen