Credit card companies "assisting" fraudsters. Can I do anything more?

On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 23:44:17 GMT, Ronald Raygun


There is still somewhere there. The driver. Hitting a solid object at high speed often kills occupants of cars. Apart from on motorways people can appear unexpectedly. If you are travelling at high speed you have less time to react (and so do they).

Rubbish. Going too fast for the road conditions is more dangerous.

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Mark wrote:

I'm sure you remember that advert in which a test dummy crashes a car into a wall, whereupon the wife immediately nags: "Why don't you watch where you're going?", and he shrugs and says "It just came out of nowhere.".
Well, in real life walls and trees and other solid objects *don't* just come out of nowhere, you can always see them coming, and the only way you're going to hit them (other than deliberately) is if you lose control of the car. Provided your speed is such that in the conditions prevailing at the time it isn't going to make loss of control likely, there is no reason not to treat the speed limit with the pinch of salt it deserves.

Indeed, but that means you should use your judgement to determine not just your speed but what things to concentrate on. If there is a parked lorry or stopped bus ahead, you should be prepared for someone to come running out from behind it. And when there are no such objects, there is no reason, apart from the law, to curb your speed when it's safe not to.

More than what? I think that statement would sound better without the word "more". I completely agree that if road conditions are poor you should drive more carefully and probably more slowly than when conditions are fine. But I pointed out that if you drive at 40 in a 40 zone, i.e. are not speeding, and assuming conditions are good, then someone could still appear out of nowhere and if hit would likely die *despite* no speeding being involved. That the limit there is 40 and not 30 is completely arbitrary. That the limit somewhere else is 30 and not 40 is also completely arbitrary.
That's why almost everyone treats the limit only as a rough guide, even the police, who ought to be setting a good example to the rest of us. Not many people generally cruise slower than 35 on a main road in a 30 zone, and moreover this is officially tolerated by the ACPO guidelines, which is a great pity because it mocks the law. It would be far better to make the limit 35 and enforce it strictly than to make the limit 30 and allow a 5mph tolerance band.
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On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 14:51:16 GMT, Ronald Raygun

Statistics show that collisions are more likely the faster you travel. Speed limits are there for a reason and that's not just safety. Drivers going too fast is also a problem for other motorists as cars are travelling quicker than expected.

See above.

More dangerous that not going too fast.

Driving is dangerous in the sense that it is not without risk. Driving faster increases this risk. However most of the risk is not for the driver but for the more vulnarable such as motorbike riders, pedestrians and cyclists.

I wouldn't like to gamble about whether or not someone would die if hit at any particular speed.

People exceed the speed limit because they are impatient and selfish and don't expect to get caught (or don't mind being caught).

I can't explain or defend why procecution only occurs at a speed higher than the limit. Just because a lot of people regularly break the limit does not make it acceptable. Cars have speedometers so there's little excuse for exceeding the limit.
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Mark wrote:

Statistics probably show that more driving tests are failed by 18-year-olds than by candidates of any other age. Statistics probably also show that more driving tests are passed by 18-year-olds than others. This leads to the absurdity that it tempts us to draw two contradictory conclusions at the same time, namely that 18-years olds are both the worst and the best drivers of all age groups. Yet both observations are easily explained by the simple fact that more 18-year-olds *sit* the test than anyone else (because they want to get their licences as early as possible).
Statistics probably show that fewer accidents involve drunk drivers than sober drivers. Does that allow us to conclude that we should all drink more when we drive? Well, no, not necessarily, it depends on what the proportion of drunk drivers overall is.
So if statistically more collisions occur at higher speeds this could just be a reflection of more cars travelling at higher speeds when a collision just happens to occur, it doesn't necessarily establish that higher speed makes collisions more likely. Consider also that lower speed collisions will tend to involve less damage, and are apt to go unreported, skewing the statistics.

That sounds bizarre. What reasons other than safety are there?

I agree, and likewise cars travelling slower than expected pose problems too.

But what is "too fast"? This isn't easy to quantify, and I'm sure you agree that it depends on road conditions, so that there are times when, be it due to poor visibility, slippery surfaces, or more people than usual milling about, driving at the legal limit would be unsafe (too fast). Equally you must accept that there are times when it is perfectly safe to exceed the legal limit. Traffic authorities set limits which are arbitrary and are designed to fit with typical conditions, not with all conditions.

Exactly, so just don't hit them. :-)
Are you happy with the local traffic authority to gamble by making some roads 30 limits and others 40?

That's true for some, but for most, it's because they have made a judgement that it is safe, and of course in a situation where the general flow of traffic is already moving (moderately) in excess of the legal limit, it undoubtedly *is* safer to fit in than to be the only one not breaking the law.

One possible explanation is that the powers that be are happy for us to drive at 35, but know that the only way to ensure that most of us stay below 35 is to make the nominal limit 30. Speedometers have historically not been easy to calibrate properly, some will over- and some will under-read a bit, so it's not easy for drivers to know whether they're just over or just under. Some car manufacturers used to deliberately skew the tolerance to over-read, to make people think they were driving faster than in fact they were, thus making it less likely they'd get caught. Nowadays speedos are more likely to be digital rather than the old induced-current spinning disc against a spring, so they ought to be accurate (modulo varying tyre circumference) but I'm not sure whether they're still designed to over-read. People who were accustomed from the old speedos to know that indicated 35 meant 30 actual, may still think indicated 35 is OK.
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In all of these case the answer is that the wrong statistics are being generated. In the first case, it should be the proportion of each age who take the driving test who pass it. In the second it should be a comparison of the proportion of drunk drivers who have an accident compared with the proportion of sober drivers who have an accident. In the last case it should be a comparison of the proportion of cars travelling at each speed who have a collision. In most cases, the comparison of the proportion of populations is more meaningful than the comparison of absolute numbers where the size of the populations are different.
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On Wed, 20 Jan 2010 15:51:14 GMT, Ronald Raygun

Noise, wear and tear on the road surface. Comfort levels for pedestrians etc.

Faster than the speed limit? In many cases it is not very safe to drive anywhere near the speed limit.

AFAIK speedometers are not allowed to under read but can over read by up to 10%. It is therefore easiest for car manufacturers to design speedometers to over read by around 5%.
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Mark wrote:

OK, fair enough.

Driving is hardly ever "very safe". It's a bloody convenient way of getting about, though. As a society we must learn to balance risk with reward. How many road deaths and other horrific injuries are there per year? Some would argue there are too many, and that we should ban private motor cars altogether. I'm sure it would reduce the accident toll, but society appears to accept that the price in terms of lost convenience would be too high, in other words we accept that these deaths etc are a price worth paying for the convenience.
I wouldn't condone extreme excesses, but in many cases it is perfectly safe (within the bounds of acceptable risk) to go faster than the limit, because often the limit is clearly too low. The recent introduction of part-time speed limits (e.g. near schools at starting and finishing times) recognises that fact.
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This has gone quite off-topic now and I suggest we draw this to a close.


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On Wed, 20 Jan 2010 17:50:01 GMT, Ronald Raygun

Part of the problem is who takes the risk and who gets the reward. If it were the same person I would take less of an issue. However, with all the safety measures like seat belts, crash zones and air bags the driver takes virtually no risk to their health travelling at normal "town" speeds. The risk is mainly carried by others like peds and two wheelers.

If only people would take any notice of these advisory speed limits around schools -- or better still let their kids walk to school. It's like the dodgems outside the local schools here.
I agree this has gone off topic so I'll try to resist posting again to this thread. :-)
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"Ronald Raygun" wrote

Yes, I've seen that more recently. But do you remember them saying a few years ago that: " ... most people hit at 40 don't survive, around half of people hit at 30 survive, most people hit at 20 survive..." ?
When did it change & why?
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On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 21:03:50 -0000, "Andy Pandy"

It's a start. Do people come to the police with a nice package which the police only have to present to the court? If the police didn't start an investigation after that evidence they would be negligent.
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wrote:

Let us know how you get on next time it happens to you then.
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I would say that as your CC Co has made a charge to your account, and is working on a continuing authority basis, THEY (not the fraudsters) need to provide you with the authorisation. Failure to provide that should immediately put a hold on any further charges to your account pending their enquiries.
You may also want to consider at the same time making a complaint to the credit card company, maybe progressing it to the Financial Ombudsman Services http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
You may also want to consider reporting it to the police.
A combination of all three may well get it all resolved.
IANAL Iain
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Don't worry about it. It's the bank's problem - you've notified them of the fraudulent transaction so they should the amount into dispute, stop any interest/charges on that amount, and unless they get proof from the retailer that you authorised the transaction they'll refund it. May take a while (was about 3 months when it happened to me but can be quicker). It could be the fraudsters are using random credit card numbers so the bank may not consider it worthwhile changing your card.
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As the OP, I just want to further clarify. Firstly thanks for the interest in the issue.
1. I fully understand that the majority of chargeback queries probably result in the requestor subsequently recognising that it is a forgotten transaction. This isn't the case here. It is a company that secures credit card details and places a regular charge on the account until the account holder notices it and invokes the chargeback process. Probably it makes it's money on the people that fail to notice.
2. The chargeback process itself is not completely customer-centric. I cannot simply report the fraud online or over the telephone and then leave them to get on it with it. They insist on a written form be completed for each transaction separately. They insist that unless they receive the form back within 14 days of them sending it then they will "assume I do not wish to proceed" and drop the chargeback process which must be then started again. The post has been bad, it's taken 10 days for the forms to arrive with 4 left for them to receive them. I suspect I must start again going through the telephone process to get the forms. Trivial I know, but the customer must even pay for the return postage.
3. The core of my concern is that even though my own credit card company may be convinced that it is a fraudulent charge that there is no mechanism for them stopping future charges. They must accept any charge from any other credit card company.
4. Even if I cancel the card and a new card is issued my credit card company maintain that further charges on the old card remain my obligation until they are notified and the chargeback process is completed every time it occurs. I guess even if I were to unexpectedly die then my estate - unaware of the fraudulent nature of the card will continue to be depleted until the fraudster feels he has taken enough. The only hope they hold out is that the fraudulent company "gets fed up" with the chargebacks, or recognises that the constant chargebacks brings himself into higher attention and therefore might compromise his continued fraud - and cancels it himself.
5. I am most certainly the victim as I have already paid my credit card bill and have not yet been refunded and have had to "pay" for the chargeback process with my time and paid a permanent charge because of the cost of the stamp and apparently have a permenent forward obligation if I want this fraudulent debit refunded in the future.
The whole complaint therefore is that it seems that a customer in this situation isn't afforded the same protection he has with the direct debit guarantee and the ability of the customer to cancel it.
I hope this more clearly summarises the problem

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If you're a UK resident, or if the financial service providers involved are UK-based, I would suggest that you take it up with the FSA/FOS
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I get the impression that card users seem to have very little protection. Once a company has your card details, it seems that they are able to carry out transactions without your further authorisation.
In 2005 I was with Bulldog Communications when they were taken over by C&W. The service was so bad that I stopped payments on my credit card (I was eventually able to do that). But, Bulldog/C&W also had my debit card details and took 3 payments from my account within one month. When I saw this on my statement, I emailed them asking an explanation. Without contacting me, they re-credited two of the payments.
I took this up with my bank, concerned that Bulldog/C&W were able to take money from my bank account and then put money back into it - all without my knowledge or authorisation. It seems that they were able to do this and no fraud had been committed. The only thing I was able to do was then instruct my bank that no further transactions would be permitted from Bulldog/C&W without my specific permission.
I just could not believe that this could could be done so freely without my permission or knowledge. I shortly afterwards left Bulldog anyway.
Iain
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Iain wrote:

Yes, that was a concern of mine in a recent thread. I had discovered that the online purchase of car insurance from Churchill was concealing the imposition of a CCA on the card I was intending to use.

I once tried to query something similar. I asked my bank exactly what access to my funds a merchant could obtain just from the possession of my card details. I found them unreasonably reticent about this.

That also became my view. I have never then agreed to either a DD or a CCA and think it is worrying that a CCA may now even somehow be agreed to tacitly.
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Do you have proof of this? If any company actually did this regularly they'd have their merchant facilities stopped (for the cynics it'd cost the banks far more to deal with chargebacks etc than they make out of transaction fees for those who don't notice incorrect debits). The likelyhood is that the company accepts cardholder-not-present transactions and is willing to take the risk that the occasional few will be made fraudulently. Unless the vast majority were kosher they'd soon have their card facilities terminated.

Way OTT - when it happened to me it was simply a case of reporting it over the phone and that was that. You could try asking for compensation for your time and expense once the whole matter is settled.

There probably isn't a mechanism to selectively reject charges from a particular retailer to a particular card.

You keep going on about the "fraudulent company", what proof do you have that the company is fraudulent? They are more likely to be victims of the fraud themselves where a fraudster is using other peoples' card details to order products/services from them.

You're a victim of your bank's bureaucratic process for reporting unauthorised transactions. As that's all you know it is, at the moment.

DD is a separate issue, there you have authorised something and want to cancel your authority. Here someone appears to be claiming you authorised a transaction when you didn't.
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I gave clear details in my OP. Believe me - it is a fraud.


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But you don't have a clue as who the fraudster is. If you really think a company can set up merchant facilities and go round making only fraudulent transactions then you really haven't got a clue. A few other people suffering fraud via the same company proves nothing, it probably just indicates they use CNP transactions and are prepared to take the risk of the occasional fraud.
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