A serious credit card fraud has been reported from Mysore where a holder of ICICI Bank credit card has found that nearly RS 1 lakh has been debited to his credit card account on account of an airline ticket purchase abroad.

While ICICI Bank is expected to absorb the loss without much fuss, the incident highlights the risks in Credit card usage. Coming at a time when RBI is trying to push public into using more of credit cards and Internet Banking through its policy for disincentivisation of cheques (See earlier articles on this subject on this site) it is a reminder to public about what is in store for them if banks are not serious about security.

In the instant case, the Bank ought to have installed a “Risk Management Software” which all reputed payment gateways normally use which should have flagged the transaction as “Unusual” and quarantined it. The fact that this has not happened indicates that there is a serious flaw in the security systems in the Bank, the responsibility for which lies squarely with the heads of the card division and IT as well as the top management including the CMD who has failed to institute the necessary policies for securing credit card transactions.

The other possibility is that there could be an involvement of some employees of the Bank who might have been either grossly negligent or have actively abetted the crime.

There is also a possibility of the card having been cloned in one of the places where it has been previously used.

As a precaution, ICICI Bank needs to withdraw and replace cards of all customers in the local area so that if they have accidentally visited the same merchant establishment where the cloning might have taken place, more such frauds will surface in the coming days from Mysore.


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