Card hacking: Hackers withdrew cash from ATM counters from two expats Image Credit: Photo for illustrative purpose

Abu Dhabi: Two Dubai residents have complained that their credit cards were hacked to make unauthorised online payments to Abu Dhabi Police.

The Indian expatriates – both working for the same group of companies – claimed Dh9,525 and Dh20,400 was siphoned off their credit cards in two incidents in April and February this year.

Khal Ali Nazar, general manager of an electro mechanical company in Dubai, told XPRESS Dh9,525 was siphoned off his card in April. “It was 2.30am on April 5 when I got a call from my bank inquiring if I had made an online purchase amounting to Dh9,525 from Abu Dhabi Police. I told the customer service agent it was an unauthorised transaction and to stop it immediately,” said Nazar, 58. The following day, Nazar lodged a formal complaint with the bank who promised him that they would investigate the matter.

“The bank did not charge me for the credit card purchase for the first two months. But in June, they debited the amount from my bank account. I don’t know what the outcome of their investigations was,” complained Nazar.

In another incident in February, Nazar’s colleague C.S. Mohan also fell victim to online fraud when his credit card was used to make payments to Abu Dhabi Police.

Exceeding limit

“Three online transactions were made using my credit card on February 19th between 11am and 12pm. The first one was for Dh6,400, the second and third for Dh7,000 each,” Mohan, a project manager, told XPRESS.

When the third transaction exceeded the credit limit, the bank called Mohan to verify the authenticity of the purchase.

“The bank immediately stopped the transaction. But the first two purchases were already made by that time,” he said.

However he was lucky to have the amount reversed within two months after lodging a complaint with the bank.

Same merchant

XPRESS reported similar credit card frauds in 2012 when a Dubai-based engineer complained that his card was used to make online payments to the tune of Dh25,000. In this case too, the recipient was Abu Dhabi Police.

The UAE Central Bank as well as other UAE authorities have urged banks to beef up security against online fraud after several cases of hacking surfaced.