It’s the age-old, generic morality question:
If you somehow stumbled across a lot of cash (or a credit card), what would you do with it?
- Take it to the police station
- Use the money for charity
- Thank your lucky stars, your horoscope that morning and God and SPEND THE MONEY!!!
A Singaporean man, who actually did randomly find a credit card, chose option 3.
A 29-year-old Singaporean male found a credit card which was accidentally left behind at an AXS machine in Yishun Avenue 2.
Choosing not to turn it in, he proceeded to use it for his own purposes.
But instead of even trying to be surreptitious with his spending, he decided to take the rare opportunity to really live it up.
When police arrested him on Thursday, 21 March 2019, they seized luxury watches, electronic goods, jewellery and about $1,000 in cash.
In total, his shopping spree had cost the unfortunate victim a whopping $18,000.
I gotta say…
On 16 March 2019, the victim informed the police that there were several unauthorised transactions made with his misplaced credit card.
The Commercial Affairs Department officers then carried out investigations, which then led to the identification of the culprit.
Eventually, the police managed to arrest the man on Thursday along Temasek Boulevard.
If convicted for dishonest misappropriation of property, the suspect may be jailed up to two years and/or fined.
If convicted of cheating, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine.
Don’t want to end up like the victim?
We use our credit and debit cards more than ever these days, and with them containing so much of our personal and financial information, taking note of credit card security is crucial.
Although this was a case of a man literally stealing the physical card, what’s even more common is credit card identity theft or fraud, when the hacker uses just the information and not the card itself to make unauthorised purchases.
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a potential victim of credit card fraud:
- Always check twice
After using your credit or debit card, always take the time to check again that you have remembered to take the card with you
- Keep Your PIN Separate
For cards which need a PIN number, don’t store the PIN number together with the card.
- Be careful with documents
Remember to shred and properly dispose of sensitive documents like credit card statements or even receipts, in case anyone takes information from these discarded materials.
- Time is of the essence
The moment you notice that you have misplaced your card, or it is stolen, do not hesitate to contact your credit card company to inform them so that they can prevent future transactions as soon as possible.
For example, DBS’s card agreement states that in case of credit card frauds, the owner’s liability for unauthorised purchases will only be limited to $100 if
- The victim immediately notifies the bank about the loss, theft or unauthorised disclosure
- The victim assists DBS in the recovery of the unauthorised charges incurred
- A police report is provided with written confirmation of the incident
- any additional information required and
- The bank is assured that the incident is not due to your negligence or default.
- Set SMS Notifications
Remember what SMS is? Yeah, other then receiving Mindef’s notification about your impending IPPT, you can set a notification whenever a transaction is being made, so that if you receive an SMS while you’re showering, you can be sure that your card’s no longer in your wallet.
- Regularly check your statements
In case of remote identity theft, check your bank statements regularly to keep track of any unauthorised transactions.
After all, none of us wants to be the next one to realise an 18k hole has been burnt on our pockets.
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