Fraudulent activity on credit card highlights risk of sending replacement cards by post

Maria says her bank confirmed a new credit would be posted to her - but she never received it.
Maria says her bank confirmed a new credit would be posted to her - but she never received it. Photo credit: GettyImages.

A Kiwi woman is concerned about the risk of banks sending replacement credit cards by post after someone took her card and fraudulently used it.

Most people would just get a replacement card without raising concerns and move on, she said. But she says large banks should have stronger processes in place to protect customers.

The woman, who asked to be referred to as Maria, said as her credit card was due to expire she called ANZ on August 19. She was told a replacement card would be posted to her.

The following Saturday (August 28), she received an automated bank text containing a 'unique code' for a purchase. Thinking this was unusual as she'd last used her card to buy groceries on Wednesday, Maria went onto the bank app. She saw multiple charges against her account, including groceries and a couple of petrol stops.

"The card… it must've arrived last Friday and I think someone got the card and on Saturday morning, they went on a shopping spree."

After contacting the bank, the replacement card was cancelled and a new one was issued. She said the bank asked her if she'd shared her credit card details with anyone, and to file a police report.  

Maria said while she's been a happy ANZ customer for around 13 years, in this situation, they "dropped the ball entirely".

"This credit card situation made me feel quite insecure… and made me question the logic of thinking of some of the policies," Maria said.

"There's no security on the credit card at all."

ANZ has since reimbursed the charges and issued a new replacement card.

Responding to Newshub, an ANZ spokesperson said while this type of credit card fraud isn't common, the bank has safeguards in place to detect fraud quickly.  

Providing they haven't contributed to the fraud in any way, there's no financial loss to the customer.

"We have a fraud monitoring system in place to identify suspicious activity on customers’ card accounts," the ANZ spokesperson said.

"If we suspect fraudulent activity, we'll generally try to contact the customer to confirm the transaction. If we can’t contact the customer, we’ll make a decision on whether we need to block the account until we can reach them."

ANZ said it couldn't comment on specific processes it uses to detect and prevent credit card fraud. But there are ways people can reduce fraud risk.

"We encourage customers to familiarise themselves with their accounts, be aware of their incomings and outgoings, and be alert to any unusual transactions," the spokesperson said.

"We also encourage customers to keep us up-to-date with their contact details so we can communicate with them quickly if we identify fraud on their account."

If they haven't contributed to the loss, and tell the bank if the card is lost or stolen within a reasonable time, the bank said under its Visa Zero liability policy, customers aren't liable for unauthorised transactions.