Dubai: An SMS from a courier company took Cery Calasicas by surprise a couple of weeks ago. It said a credit card was being sent for her, courtesy of a UAE bank.
“Wait a minute, why did I get a credit card? I did not ask for it. What should I do?”, she muttered to herself.
The Filipino expatriate, who works as an architect in Dubai, swore that she had not applied for a credit card from Dunia and that she is no longer a customer of the bank. The last time she transacted with them was back in 2012, when she had paid up a loan and closed her account for good.
She also had no recollection of a conversation with a customer service representative about opening a new credit line.
Considering her bad experience with other financial firms, and having heard of stories related to identity theft, Cery was getting very anxious. She wasted no time filing a complaint at the Consumer Rights department of the Department of Economic Development.
“I view this as an invasion of privacy,” Cery later wrote in her letter.
“I am not their bank customer as I paid my loan to them and closed my account years ago. However, I am very surprised that they can easily issue a credit card that I didn’t apply for under my name without my knowledge.”
“I do not like the fact that my personal information was used without my permission…What right do I have to stop these banks, or any banks, from using my details without my prior knowledge? Kindly advise me for further action as this is getting aggressive and dangerous to my identity.”
Cery’s complaint was not acted upon because, according to the Consumer Rights section, it was out of their “scope”. She was then referred to the UAE Central Bank.
When Gulf News asked Dunia for comment, the lender did not provide any explanation behind the credit card issuance, citing that they are “constrained” by their “customer confidentiality and Central Bank regulations.”
“Please be assured that we are always customer focused and work towards facilitating customer transactions in the best possible manner on an ongoing and proactive basis,” the company said in an email sent to Gulf News on Monday.
“We do confirm that a detailed explanation of facts has been sent to the customer with full details and with appropriate assistance to help satisfactorily resolve the matter. We have confirmation from our customer that the matter has been resolved, and she has been [appreciative of] our assistance on this.”
Cery confirmed that the bank had just apologized for what happened, but added that her experience should serve as a warning to other bank customers.
“They should be extra careful because, here in the UAE, it is easy to have your personal details misused or stolen.”