ANZ credit card thieves shop at same time as their vic­tim

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By EMMA WHITTAKER

A woman whose new credit cards were stolen be­fore they reached her in the post is won­der­ing how thieves could make al­most $6000 of pur­chases.

The miss­ing ANZ credit cards were posted to the woman and her hus­band to re­place cards that were due to ex­pire.

The new cards were in­ter­cepted by thieves who went on a week­end- long spend­ing spree at elec­tron­ics shops, liquor stores and petrol sta­tions. They even vis­ited the VTNZ.

Alice – a Mt Al­bert res­i­dent who did not want her last name used – is ques­tion­ing the ro­bust­ness of the bank’s se­cu­rity sys­tems.

Banks usu­ally re­quire cus­tomers to ac­ti­vate their cards be­fore they can be used.

The ANZ web­site asks cus­tomers to phone its call cen­tre to do this.

Alice was un­der the im­pres­sion that her cards would be use­less un­til this hap­pened.

A bank spokesman says ANZ can’t dis­cuss its ac­ti­va­tion pro­ce­dure for se­cu­rity rea­sons.

There is no set in­dus­try stan­dard for the ac­ti­va­tion of new credit cards and the risk sits with the is­suer, ac­cord­ing to the New Zealand Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Alice and her hus­band were first alerted to trou­ble by an early morn­ing phone call from the ANZ on June 28. One of the Mt Al­bert cou­ple’s miss­ing cards was be­ing used and had been blocked.

Alice vis­ited the bank’s West­field St Lukes branch to find out what could be done about the sec­ond card.

Be­cause it was a Satur­day she was told to come back on Mon­day.

She made some pur­chases at the mall with the old card and a list of trans­ac­tions shows the thieves were there at a sim­i­lar time shop­ping with her new one. ‘‘It’s scary,’’ she says. ‘‘Hope­fully po­lice get the of­fender soon. They got so much. They will do it again,’’ she says.

Alice has been told she will not need to re­pay the money.

Credit card fraud is an on­go­ing prob­lem for all banks, an ANZ spokesman says, but vic­tims of gen­uine fraud are not left out of pocket.

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