US Credit Card Fraud Infected China (and Me)

Yesterday morning, when I stepped out of my office around 11:50 AM, a customer service representitive from the China Merchant Bank (my favorite bank in China) called my mobile and asked if I have a credit card ending with number xx. I confirmed. She told me the Visa organization informed them that this card is at risk of credit card fraud. I asked why, and the girl said they don’t know th reason yet, but what they can do is to give me a replacement of the card. She asked me to destroy my current card and waiting for a new card.

Well. I said “it is good”, wondering what happened with my card. Maybe it was because I have been to the U.S. in April?

After lunch, I used my card – the card she talked about – unconciousely, as I do everyday. The machine reports: Stolen card! It is nice that the restaurant didn’t call police and I handed in cash quickly.

At that time, I know, they are serious.

The News

24 hours later, when I open my MSN, I saw a pop up in the news window – that is the major change of MSN.com.cn launch in China. The news said: 9000 Chinese card holders are affected. 3000+ visa holders were affected, and I am honorablely be one of the 3000 card holders.

Some 9,000 Chinese accounts put at risk:

Chinese cardholders who may be vulnerable to potential risks are those who used credit cards in the United States between August 1, 2004 and May 27, 2005, according to the Peony Card Centre of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the nation’s largest lender.

19 thoughts on “US Credit Card Fraud Infected China (and Me)

  1. Danny

    CMB is also my favourite bank! However, I notice that the Orient Card of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank can let me make deposits and withdrawal at any branch or any ATM labeled with “China Union Pay” nationwide freely, which is better than the All in One Card of China Merchant Bank.

  2. Mike

    It doesn’t mean your card details were stolen. My credit card was stopped as well – the [Australian] bank said it was done as a precaution because I’d used my card in the US during that time the fraud occurred.

  3. Tony

    It’s nothing if they just issue new card to you and that you are not responsible to any charges. Credit card fraud happens in US all the time, its just part of life that people have come to accept. I can imagine this will also be a rising problem in China as more and more people start to use credit cards.

  4. fei

    Jianshuo,

    here in Singapore, i read from the Straits Times newspapers that people who had used their cards in USA or at USA websites between Nov last year to Apr this year were especially “vulnerable” to the fraud…

  5. Yun

    Does the fraud affect all credit cards or chinese users only? I visited US around the end of Apr and used credit cards. I came back Canada in May. It seems that no such announcements from card issuing bank so far.

  6. mathlete

    Is it relatively easy for a foreigner working here in SH to get a VISA card? I applied once at BOC, but never got a reply. I have a decent salary (compared to locals) and good credit. Any suggestions out there about where is the best bank to apply for a card…?? Thanks

  7. mathlete

    Is it relatively easy for a foreigner working here in SH to get a VISA card? I applied once at BOC, but never got a reply. I have a decent salary (compared to locals) and good credit. Any suggestions out there about where is the best bank to apply for a card…?? Thanks

  8. mathlete

    Is it relatively easy for a foreigner working here in SH to get a VISA card? I applied once at BOC, but never got a reply. I have a decent salary (compared to locals) and good credit. Any suggestions out there about where is the best bank to apply for a card…?? Thanks

  9. mathlete

    Is it relatively easy for a foreigner working here in SH to get a VISA card? I applied once at BOC, but never got a reply. I have a decent salary (compared to locals) and good credit. Any suggestions out there about where is the best bank to apply for a card…?? Thanks

  10. mathlete

    Is it relatively simple for an expat to get a credit card here in China? I’ve been living here for about 10 months and thinking about applying. Anyone have any advice on what bank(s) to go to…?? thnks

  11. fei

    Hi Jianshuo, i picked this up from a local (SG) bank’s website.

    “US Credit/Debit Card Scam

    You may have read or heard about the security breach in the US of a third-party processor of payments for credit and debit card transactions, including Visa and MasterCard. The bank views this seriously and has started replacing the affected cards.

    However, please also be warned that there have been overseas reports of “scammers” and “phishers” contacting affected cardholders to confirm their new card details. They were instructed to call a specified phone number to verify their new card details; or reply via a hyperlink within an email.”

    http://www.uob.com.sg/pages/personal/alert.html

  12. LAMPART FRANK

    kindly confirm the above international card centre comes under the bank of china.I am a person and need verifications on the above card centre.

    sincerely,

    mahendra kumar

  13. miki

    I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THE KIND OF LIFE U ARE LEAIVING ON SOME TIME I FEEL LIKE CRY FOR THE AFFECTED ONCE, FRAUD EVERY WERE. AND WILL REALY LIKE TO STOP THIS IF A CHANCE IS GIVEN TO ME.

  14. Bob

    I live in Guangzhou. I have been in China since February, 2003. I have a bank in California and have used the Visa Cheque Card feature to get money from Bank of China ATMs since coming to China. Until now I have been satisfied with the system.

    Once my card was replaced because of stolen card numbers. More recently, however, the card was again canceled because of credit card fraud in China/Asia, the bank told me.

    Another bank in USA said there is much fraud because of people trying to recover from huge gambling debts.

    All things considered, I am wondering if any of the “excuses” used to cancel the cards are to be believed. Mine is not a credit card; it is a Visa cheque card that can only withdraw existing money from my account with a daily limit on amount withdrawn.

    Does anyone have any plausible explanation for this?

  15. Vitalie

    Hi people!

    I never been frauded over internet using a VISA debit card online or replaced it by bank decision. The only replacement of the card I did only when it needed to be replaced due to the end of expiration perhiod.

    Of course a lot of people are scammed over internet using other methods of receiving funds.

    I have account at Victoriabank in Moldaviaa(Eastern Europe). It’s very fine and nice bank. ;) I never had problems using my Visa check card. Is good to have 2 cards:

    a Credit card account and a debit card account. Over internet is best to use a debit card.

    Why? because you use ONLY existing money in account.

    For example: You’re a credit card holder at Bank of America with excelent credit rating. Is ok. and you open a debit card account at the same or other bank:

    The next thing you want securely make payments online:

    1. Transfer necesary funds from Credit card account to Debit card!!!

    USE ONLY DEBIT CARD ACCOUNT!!!!!

    The credit card is good only to be used as BACKUP fund sources ;)

    If you use card account online: use:

    1. MoneyBookers

    2. PayPal

    3. CCNOW

    Never open emails where is requested credit card information!

    If you receive a PayPal email asking about information or payment:

    Just type with your fingers on the browser: http://www.paypal.com

    and login. Never use accessing from Emails!

    Also, use well known bank or local ones.

    Very important thing:

    DON’T USE TELEBANKING OR ONLINE BANKING IN THE PUBLIC NET CAFES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Use banking at house, but keep updated:

    1. Your operating system

    2. Antivirus and Firewall Software.

    3. Don’t allow someone to use at your own computer your login credentials.

    If someone wants to use your own computer, create a username and password for that person with RESTRICTED ACCESS.

    Hope this help people!!!!

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