This morning I got a message from Westpac about a suspicious $0 test charge on my card, and the card was locked pending my response. Sure enough by the time I rang in minutes later there were more fraudulent attempts to access the card account from a range of sources from airbnb to a company selling horse medicines.
The card was cancelled with a new one coming in ‘5-7 business days’ so full marks for Westpac’s fraud detection but those ‘5-7 business days’ not withstanding a NSW holiday would add 1 calendar day. Fortunately as a good customer Westpac agreed to make that 2 business days at no special charge.
However this makes a point that when one uses a debit/ATM card linked to one’s bank account, the disruption and aggro caused when a card has to be replaced can be severe. Auto debits will fail and getting cash for ‘5-7 business days’ means at a minimum going to a branch for cash, if you have one. No card and no cash from a Saturday afternoon? Could be a hungry weekend.
My auto debits to the credit card are all essential services. The card had not been out of sight or out of hand nor used for more than groceries and a routine accountant payment in 2 months, so it would have been skimmed a while back, or there is a shortly to be discovered data breach in one of a very few payment systems.
To topic, when one has a bank account and only a debit card, that card is your lifeline to cash and debit card payments. Have that cancelled and payments can only be done by EFT, BPay, or direct debit to the account for those 5-7 business days. It can be an onerous disruption depending on when one has payments due and how much cash is in hand.
A credit card can be locked and replaced and one can fall back on a second credit or debit card for those 5-7 business days. Without the ability to secure a credit card in retirement seniors are open to being disadvantaged by fraud no matter how well handled.
Seems obvious, but.