Australia’s biggest banks have been forced to reinstate customers whose credit cards were stolen during the Christmas season.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) announced on Tuesday that it would reinstate cards that had been affected by the fraud, and it will issue a similar refund to customers who previously used those cards.
The decision to reinstall the cards came after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and consumer advocates lodged a complaint.
It follows the ACCC’s investigation into the theft of $2.8m in debit card and credit card numbers from the Northern Territory and WA.
The ACCC said that since December 7th, it had received nearly 2,400 complaints about stolen debit cards and credit cards in the Northern and Western Territories, and the number of complaints about fraudulent purchases was up from the previous week.
In response, the bank has decided to issue refunds to customers whose debit and credit account numbers were stolen in this way, rather than replacing the cards themselves.
It also plans to update its policy to prevent a repeat of this type of incident.
“We are taking action to ensure that the fraudulent use of debit and non-debit cards and card numbers is not repeated in future,” the bank said in a statement.
In a statement, the Northern Territories and WA governments said that the Northern Banks had implemented the measures to “prevent a repeat”.”
The ACCCC and its consumer advocates are calling for banks to work together to make it harder for fraudulent card use.”
In a statement, the Northern Territories and WA governments said that the Northern Banks had implemented the measures to “prevent a repeat”.
The Northern Banks, which have been operating under the supervision of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), said they would not be able to refund cardholders who had their cards stolen by fraudsters because of the risk of identity theft.
“It is important that consumers are aware of the steps they need to take to safeguard their personal information and ensure that their card is never stolen,” the Northern Bank said in the statement.
“The Northern Bank and its partners have implemented new measures to strengthen the security of their card systems to ensure they are secure from fraud and to protect their customers’ data and privacy.”
The ACCc said the bank had not received any complaints from consumers about the fraudulent transactions.
“While this type (of fraud) is very rare and very difficult to detect, we do recognise that people may be disappointed when they discover that their debit card or credit card has been used by a fraudster, and that these customers may not receive a full refund,” it said.
“To address these concerns, we are providing refunds to cardholders with their debit and/or credit card data that has been stolen during this time, and are also working with the Northern Rivers Region to help consumers with their credit card issues.”