BANKING DISPUTE OVER STOLEN DEBIT CARDS
“Whilst holidaying abroad in South America I had my debit cards stolen and a debt of nearly £4,000 was run up on it. I have to admit to being naïve, as I was in a bar and extremely flattered when I was approached and chatted up by very beautiful young woman. We drank and chatted all night out at the end of the evening my drink must have been spiked as I passed out only to wake up to find that all my cards and passports had been stolen.
My bank is refusing to reimburse me the money saying that I must have given her my pin number as it was used on all the transactions that she, or her accomplices, subsequently used. The bank also goes on to suggest that I have no way of proving that my drink was spiked as there are no hospital records attest to that.
I have no conscious recollection of ever having given her my pin number, although I did use it at the end of the night to pay the bar bill, and it is possible that she may have noted the number. I would very much appreciate any eCourt opinion on this matter.”
The bank are technically correct in suggesting that the transactions were all legal and they are not obliged to refund you because your pin number was used in them all. The bank also may feel that you could have been running up these huge bills yourself in order to impress an attractive young girl whilst on holiday abroad. A situation which may have proved embarrassing and regretful, both personally and financially, upon your return to Britain.
However upon further investigation, it does appear that most of the goods bought were not of any use to you and the ones that may have been, you already owned or could have bought just as easily in the UK without having to carry them halfway round the world. On top of that, one of the shops had CCTV footage of a woman matching your description buying the goods on her own and she did not appear to be accompanied by you.
It is of the opinion of eCourt that there are not sufficient facts presented by either side in this case. Unless this unfortunate incident is recent enough for you to be able to take a blood test and for them to find any traces of such drugs in your bloodstream that are consistent with your side of events and the blood test proves positive, then the bank should reimburse you the full amount.
Likewise if any other such police evidence is forthcoming which adds more weight to your case, then the bank should also fully reimburse you for your loss. In the event that no such evidence can be brought that no such be brought to case, then eCourt would suggest a reasonable compromise: That the bank should reimburse you for £2,000 towards your loss, and that you will have to bear the burden of the other half yourself.
It does serve as a warning to anyone travelling abroad to be very careful about who you trust and about your method of payment.
eCourt Verdict in this matter is that you should stay out of it. If you are correct and it does turn out to be true, then the best course of action open to you is that you can be a good friend and be as supportive as you can, when you can, without taking sides or apportioning blame.