Routine credit card fraud is apparently being allowed to flourish due to Government-backed changes to the way such crimes are investigated.
The claim is made following a BBC investigation that discovered new rules were introduced last April which gives banks responsibility to make initial investigations into any such fraud allegations.
The complaint will only be passed to the police if the banks decide the allegations merit further investigation.
The changes have led some to warn that small-scale credit card will not be properly investigated as banks would be unwilling to invest time and resources. Instead the fraud will be written off and only large-scale scams could be passed to the police.
The banks counter that because such small-scale fraud is so widespread – despite the introduction of chip and pin technology – it makes more sense to concentrate on the larger scams as the police also lack the resources to investigate every single complaint.
Several questions popped into my head when reading this story.
Top of the list is whether we can charge banks for the time and trouble we have to invest when we discover possible fraud involving our accounts? Equally, could we make a claim for the emotional impact such crimes can have?
It may be small-scale fraud to the banks, but it can be significant to the average account holder.
Banks and other financial institutions are quick enough to impose financial penalties on account holders – even for the most minor of anomolies of oversights.
So shouldn’t we have a right to redress for similar “minor” indiscretions such as the failure to properly investigate an alleged fraud?
Account holders get bombarded with warnings and instructions about personal security, yet it seems the banks are quite happy to play fast and loose with our money and don’t get any significant penalty for some pretty basic failures.
As the popularity of internet shopping ccontinues to rise, allegations of credit card fraud could well increase at a similar rate.
And if the banks are prepared to write off relatively small-scale amounts, this kind of fraud is likely to increase in frequency and it will be the account holders who pay in the long run through increased charges and the inevitable end of so-called “free banking”.