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Customer Service - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Customer Service
Hats off to Nationwide, who had left me a phone message when I got in from work this evening to ask me to ring their "Special Investigations" Department. This sounded a bit concerning, and when I rang them back it turns out they have declined some three-figure transactions on "my" card in Italy this week. Good for them, as they certainly weren't made by me. I did joke to kharin while holidaying in Denmark, "Please wait while your card is carefully skimmed by our operatives" ... seems that may have been a bit too close to the truth. All I have to do it cut my card up (done), and wait for the replacement ...
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uitlander From: uitlander Date: September 21st, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pleased they stopped it.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: September 21st, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm impressed they detected it pre-emptively as "suspicious activity" - I don't know, maybe someone had skimmed the card but at Nationwide's end it says the card should be Chip and PIN. The other possibility they said was that someone had generated the number randomly - in which case it's unlikely they would have got things like the expiry date right. Generally when your card expires, the account number doesn't change.
uitlander From: uitlander Date: September 21st, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recall being told that UK chip and pin does not work as such in Europe. Instead they read the magnetic strip.....
qatsi From: qatsi Date: September 22nd, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
In Copenhagen, there seemed to be a mixture of both systems - sometimes I signed for things, sometimes I used a PIN. As I understand it, the PIN only works with the Chip, so some of them must have been chip-enabled.
obnoxious_muso From: obnoxious_muso Date: September 22nd, 2006 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)
That's impressive... A friend of mine is currently going through hell with HSBC trying to convince them that she could not have used her credit card in England and then in Italy ten minutes later. Maybe there's some Italian scam going on.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: September 22nd, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, with "Customer Not Present" transactions (internet and telephone sales), it is possible that you could make purchases in different countries at more-or-less the same time, but you'd have thought the banks would get enough information to know whether or not that might have been the case.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 23rd, 2006 09:05 am (UTC) (Link)
As I recall, the banks used a variant of data mining to detect aberrant transaction patterns including transactions simultaneously taking place in different countries (given that a UK transaction would require knowledge of the PIN).

- K
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