|The central bank has also asked the Credit Cards Association to set up a system to provide information about incidents of card fraud for member banks and merchants.— Photo baodatviet
HCM CITY (VNS)— The State Bank of Viet Nam has warned all banks about the increasing credit card-related crimes and exhorted them to improve oversight and look out for suspicious transactions.
It urged them to carefully check the financial capabilities and set a daily limit for merchants accepting their cards.
The central bank has also asked the Credit Cards Association to set up a system to provide information about incidents of card fraud for member banks and merchants.
"If banks tighten their supervision system, it is hard for criminals to steal money from credit cards," Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted analyst Tran Quang Thoai as saying.
"The best measure is for banks to carefully check if shops and companies do business and if their credit transactions are commensurate with their size."
Card owners should also be more vigilant and ask merchants to swipe the credit cards in their presence, he added.
Banking expert Huynh Trung Minh said, card holders should register with their banks for security, referring to services like SMS and internet banking.
Money stolen using credit cards could be identified by the unusual times of day transactions carried out and amounts that were disproportionate with business size, he said.
"For example, if a restaurant does a transaction of several hundred million dong for a party or at 2 a.m when it is already closed, the transaction should be verified."
According to the Ministry of Public Security's High-Tech Crime Control Police Department, international and local criminals are using sophisticated methods to hack into and steal money from credit cards.
Since 2010 the department has discovered 1,400 crimes and arrested 978 people.
Criminals hack into online shopping portals to steal information about credit cards and then use it to buy expensive items like computers and digital cameras.
"Many countries refuse to allow online shopping if the IP address is in Viet Nam," the department said.
Foreign criminals, mostly from mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Africa, enter Viet Nam and use high-tech equipment to make fake credit cards, establish contact with some merchants to steal huge sums of up to several hundred billion dong (millions of dollars).
It is exacerbated by merchants abetting these international and local criminals.
Early last month police in the central province of Khanh Hoa arrested Yang Qing, 43, an American national, for stealing money using fake credit cards.
He went to a restaurant and used a fake credit card to carry out 42 transactions and steal over VND1.5 billion ($70,000) while the restaurant got a cut of over VND700 million ($33,000) for abetting him.
Also in July the Ha Noi police arrested Chinese national Zeng Xiao Tian and Dinh Van Chinh, director of Ninh Cat Limited Company, for setting up four companies and stealing money from many credit cards.
The companies had carried out 333 transactions at Ocean Bank to steal over VND1.1 billion ($45,000).
A deputy director in charge of retail business at a bank said the recent race between banks to sign up more merchants was also a reason for the situation since they did not carefully investigate their backgrounds.
"Banks now temporarily delay suspicious transactions and choose the merchants carefully."
Another trick is for a group of individual customers to open accounts in various banks, get ATM cards and give them to accomplices to withdraw money, and complain to banks their money was stolen.
Many banks, fearing for their reputation, agree to compensate them. — VNS