UAE News Today : Business

How to Recover Money Lost in Online Scams and Fraudulent Transactions


He now helps his clients recover up to Dh100,000 and shares advice for other victims to follow.

A Dubai-based legal and financial expert, who has been helping residents recover money from online scams and debt traps, had fallen victim to a fraudulent transaction. But he was able to get the money back immediately and wanted to share tips on how he did it and how to avoid scams.

Firstly, Barney Almazar, director of Gulf Law in the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, the United Kingdom and Portugal, highlighted

“The responsibility for preventing fraudulent transactions does not fall solely on cardholders, as card issuers should have a large part in that responsibility as well.”

“Banks should employ advanced fraud detection systems that monitor transactions for suspicious activity, such as large or unusual purchases, and notify customers immediately when potential fraud is detected.”

He added, pointing out:

“Timely communication with customers is crucial.”

About his case, Almazar said:

“I have always been very careful with my credit card and online transactions and yet my card has been used fraudulently. I informed the bank immediately after receiving an SMS notification that my card was used. I highlighted the fact that I did not authorize the transaction with a rental company in the UK (Almazar was in Spain when the incident occurred last year) and that I did not obtain any OTP. In two days the purchase of about 8,475.63 dirhams was reversed.”

“But for many unfortunate cardholders, the reversal process is always a nightmare, especially when banks blame them for their personal negligence.”

He noticed.

Almazar reiterated:

“Credit card issuers have important social responsibilities to prevent fraud and protect cardholders. Implementing multi-factor authentication for online transactions adds an extra layer of security, making it difficult for fraudsters to gain unauthorized access.

“Banks must continually update their security protocols and systems to stay ahead of evolving fraud tactics. In other jurisdictions, banks have zero liability policies, ensuring that customers are not liable for fraudulent charges as long as they report them promptly.”

he continued.

Notify banks immediately

To reverse fraudulent transactions, it is important to notify the bank immediately. If the customer did not receive any OTP (one-time password), banks cannot hold him responsible for the unauthorized transaction, Almazar stressed while citing the case of one of his clients.

Almazar recently helped Marie (name changed as requested) file a dispute challenging a series of fraudulent transactions worth Dh94,570.

In a letter to a bank in the United Arab Emirates, Marie, a Filipino living in Sharjah, disputed the bank’s claim that

“The fraudulent transactions were completed in contactless mode which was activated via OTP sent to (Marie’s) registered email and mobile phone. Therefore, the responsibility for the transactions lies with (Marie).”

Marie claimed this was not true as she “never received” any notification from the bank on her email or mobile phone.

Reasons to claim compensation

Almazar and Marie based their demand for reversal of the unauthorized transactions on these five reasons:

Timely notification – Marie promptly notified the bank’s customer service department as soon as she became aware of the fraudulent transactions.

Absence of consent – Marie did not provide any authorization or consent for the transactions, nor did she receive any goods or services.

Safe use – Marie “affirmed that she has always taken reasonable steps to protect credit card information and its confidentiality.”

Inconsistencies – In her detailed letter, Marie points out the names, activities and locations of the unknown merchants. The transactions were traced to companies based in Ukraine and Russia. Furthermore, Marie’s credit limit was Dh82,380, but the bank allowed and processed other transactions worth Dh12,180, resulting in Marie’s liabilities of more than Dh94,000.

Cooperation – Marie said she is willing to cooperate fully with the bank’s investigation.

‘Do not accept partial refund’

Almazar said they are still negotiating with the bank that initially offered a partial refund.

“But I strongly advised Marie not to accept it because she is not fully responsible.”

he stressed.

“In my opinion, banks must be more active. They are definitely aware that a lot of these things are happening and they should be able to take steps to detect them and not conveniently shift the blame to their customers.”

he added.

‘Limit your exposure’

Almazar summarized the following tips to protect the bank’s customers. He also answered the question of whether the customer must pay the bank for the fraudulent transactions.

  • We can’t avoid online transactions nowadays, but we can have a card with a low limit for online use, so the exposure is limited.
  • To reverse fraudulent transactions, it is important that you notify the bank as soon as possible.
  • Do not delete bank messages like OTP and transaction notifications.
  • If you did not receive any OTP, banks cannot hold you responsible for the transaction you did not authorize.
  • Banks may ask you to pay the amount owed and will reverse it after an investigation. I highly recommend this as you will find yourself running after the refund.
  • Hold payments until transactions have been investigated. But continue paying for all your legitimate transactions.
  • Always document your transaction dispute.
  • Obtain a police report to support your claim of fraudulent transactions.
  • You can also refer the matter to the central bank if it is not resolved to your satisfaction.

News Source: Khaleej Times


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