‘How can I get my bank to reverse a fraudulent payment on my card?’

The lender refuses to refund the customer, claiming the payment was authenticated with double secure transactions

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Question: I need help with a bank issue. On May 2, I tried to buy tickets for a local tourist attraction from a website that appeared to be genuine.

The tickets were Dh149 ($40.50) each, so I was expecting a payment of Dh298. I was taken to the Emirates NBD double secure page after entering my card details, but the page appeared to keep reloading and glitching.

I suddenly received five or six different codes for double secure transactions for wildly different amounts and to different companies, all within a minute or so.

I never entered any code as this seemed suspicious. Very quickly, I received another message saying that Dh5,818.44 had been paid to “Almadies”, a totally unrecognised amount and payee.

I called the ENBD fraud call centre immediately, whereupon the adviser told me he could see all the double secure requests for different amounts, and that they were aware of issues with payment for this place.

He also confirmed that another attempted transaction had been blocked and my card had now been locked.

After lodging the dispute, I was sent a resolution on May 8, where I was told: “Please note the above charges are double secure transactions, which can be successful only post authenticating the cardholder identity.”

As far as ENBD is concerned, the transaction was authenticated by someone, so that's the end of the matter.

I called the fraud team again and the person I spoke to drew my attention to the double secure terms and conditions and implied that I had to prove that it wasn't me that entered the double secure code.

It didn't matter that there were many double secure requests, all made within a minute of each other for different amounts from different companies and from different countries!

I physically wouldn't have been able to make all those transactions myself in the space of 60 seconds.

The bank even stopped one of the payments attempted at the same time as the fraudulent payment, so presumably, their fraud detection system even flagged the payments as suspicious!

I am not getting anywhere with the bank, so can you help? DP, Abu Dhabi

Answer: I contacted the head office of ENBD and they quickly investigated the matter. Within four days, the bank resolved the issue and confirmed that a refund of Dh5,818 would be made.

A spokeswoman for the bank said: “We are pleased to inform you that our group customer experience team has been in touch with Mr P and resolved the matter to his satisfaction. We would like to reiterate our commitment to providing superior service to our customers and thank you for your continuous support in providing us with the opportunity to resolve their issues.”

DP is delighted with the outcome.

The reality is that we are seeing a large number of fake websites and scammers in the UAE, so it is important to double-check that you are on a real website whenever making any online transactions.

Some of the fakes are very good, but everyone needs to do their own due diligence to avoid these types of problems.

Q: I am confused about the law on working when sponsored by a husband. My husband sponsors my visa and I have recently started working full-time for a company.

I provided the company with a no-objection letter, but have not been provided anything by the employer.

I have yet to sign a contract and they have not given me a work permit. Do I need to have one as they seem to think the NOC is enough? RF, Dubai

A: A wife who is sponsored by her husband is permitted to work in the UAE, even if her visa states “housewife not permitted to work” provided her husband, as her sponsor, provides a letter of no objection to the employer.

The employer does not have to provide a visa, but the company must apply for a work permit, commonly known as a labour card.

Physical cards are no longer issued but the employer is obliged to make a proper application for a work permit by following due process.

Unless a work permit is applied for, an individual will be working illegally and both parties can be subject to a fine
Keren Bobker, senior partner, Holborn Assets

This involves making an application to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, usually via a Tas’heel centre. The fee is much lower than when obtaining a visa for an employee.

In addition, a contract of employment must be signed by both parties and all employees should insist upon receiving a copy of this. Naturally, they should read it thoroughly before signing so they are aware of all conditions.

Unless a work permit is applied for, an individual will be working illegally and both parties can be subject to a fine.

RF can show this answer to the employer and they must immediately put in an application. Without a work permit, RF will not be employed legally or protected under the law.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 30 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: July 16, 2023, 5:00 AM