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Thieves shop at same time as victim

EMMA WHITTAKER
Last updated 05:00 09/07/2014

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A woman whose new credit cards were stolen before they reached her in the post is wondering how thieves could make almost $6000 of purchases.

The missing ANZ credit cards were posted to the woman and her husband to replace cards that were due to expire.

The new cards were intercepted by thieves who went on a weekend-long spending spree at electronics shops, liquor stores and petrol stations. They even visited the VTNZ.

Alice - a Mt Albert resident who did not want her last name used - is questioning the robustness of the bank's security systems.

Banks usually require customers to activate their cards before they can be used.

The ANZ website asks customers to phone its call centre to do this.

Alice was under the impression that her cards would be useless until this happened.

A bank spokesman says ANZ can't discuss its activation procedure for security reasons.

There is no set industry standard for the activation of new credit cards and the risk sits with the issuer, according to the New Zealand Banker's Association.

Alice and her husband were first alerted to trouble by an early morning phone call from the ANZ on June 28. One of the Mt Albert couple's missing cards was being used and had been blocked.

Alice visited the bank's Westfield St Lukes branch to find out what could be done about the second card.

Because it was a Saturday she was told to come back on Monday.

She made some purchases at the mall with the old card and a list of transactions shows the thieves were there at a similar time shopping with her new one.

"It's scary," she says.

"Hopefully police get the offender soon. They got so much. They will do it again," she says.

Alice has been told she will not need to repay the money.

Credit card fraud is an ongoing problem for all banks, an ANZ spokesman says, but victims of genuine fraud are not left out of pocket.

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