Gran hit by credit card scam
CARD cloning is rife and instead of finding unclonable devices banks continue to blame innocent consumers for compromising their personal details, harassing and threatening them with legal action.
Tryphina Bikitsha, a 54-year-old grandmother of three, accuses Standard Bank debt collectors of harassing her for a debt she does not know anything about.
She is expected to pay R11000 for a debt she allegedly acquired after her paid-off credit card was cloned.
Bikitsha took out a credit card more that a decade ago but paid it off because she thought it was too costly to service it.
She never cancelled it, but kept it safe at home.
She said Standard Bank offered to pay R4000 of the illegally acquired debt.
"I rejected this offer. They should write the entire debt off," she said.
Bikitsha said it was only when she applied for a loan that she discovered that her credit card account had been used .
"My loan application was declined on the basis that I have not paid my credit card account," she said.
Bikitsha said Standard Bank did not send her any letter of demand or a statement showing that her card was in use.
She queried this and also discovered that the fraudster had not stopped using her card.
A Standard Bank employee assisted her with completing complaint forms to enable the fraud unit to investigate, but the forms were never submitted to the unit, Bikitsha said.
Then the harassment began, she said.
"I would get two to three telephone calls a day from different people demanding payment for this debt," Bikitsha said.
She said she had been trying to explain her situation to Standard Bank since May last year.
The Standard Bank f raud unit also asked Bikitsha to resubmit her complaint each time she called for feedback, Bikitsha said.
She said she did not enjoy her December holidays because Standard Bank threatened to attach her belongings.
"I dreaded the thought of coming back to an empty home because I didn't know what they would attach as no sheriff had ever visited my house with an attachment list," Bikitsha said.
Consumer Line stepped in and tried to assist Bikitsha.
Instead of responding to our inquiry, since January, Standard Bank has been asking for the same information that Consumer Line had already provided.
On Thursday when responding to Bikitsha's e-mail, in which Consumer Line was copied, Standard Bank c hief e xecutive and m edia complaints l iaison m anager Joop Dekker said they had investigated the matter and would reply to the journalist (Consumer Line) as soon as circumstances permitted.