Credit card theft: Dealers, banks to blame

Restaurants, supermarkets and other key market dealers are to blame for the spread of credit card data theft in the UAE as most of them fail to report the crime to save their reputation, according to a senior Dubai police officer.

The crime has also become widespread in the country because of negligence by credit card holders and failure by banks and other card suppliers to provide sufficient security, said Lt. Colonel Saeed Al Haajri, Director of counter-electronic crime division at Dubai’s police department.

Quoted by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily ‘Emarat Al Youm’, he said card data stored by dealers could be stolen by employees or by foreign burglars who hack the firm’s website and obtain client’s credit card information.

“The problem is that those restaurants or department stores do not report this crime because they are worried about their reputation although some of them have data for at least 500,000 cards,” he said.

“This is a serious and wrong behaviour as it makes it difficult for us to tackle the problem or protect the personal bank accounts of customers.”

Hajri said any company or other parties recording such a crime must report it immediately so the police and the bank can take urgent measures to reduce loss, including cancelling the credit card or freezing all deals carried out through it.

He said banks and other card providers are also responsible by failing to give enough security to their products.

But he added that many banks in the UAE have started to take extra security measures in line with international standards to protect their clients.

“Clients are also not taking enough measures to protect their cards when they buy online...Dubai Police is monitoring such activities and coordinating with the Central Bank to block loopholes and protect card holders,” he said.

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