Absurd situations which can be occurred by overzealous efforts of protection

  • Sep 19,2020

When an unusual transaction shows up in your credit card balance the credit card company's system flagged it as some kind of fraud. After that, it is very possible that your account will be frozen in order to keep your financial safety. But until they solve this problem it could take more than a week, and you won't be able to use your card during that time.

The loss from the act of fraud is nearly $2 billion for the last year 2019. In this situation, it will be foolish if the customers want less vigilance on their card balance. Sometimes this surveillance can accrue some uncomfortable situations but at least is keeping the customer's financial safety. 

There is the case of Erik Castro, Granada Hills resident, who has paid more than $14 000 outstanding on his credit card in the Capital One card company. After this transaction, the company called him, asking if he had been paid by some random person. 

This was obviously his own account in Bank of America, but Capital one wanted to make sure that the money was legitimate. So they opened an investigation and asked Castro for all the copies of his bank statement to prove this payment.

His account in Capital One was frozen. After one week, the Capital one had a conference call with Bank of America, and they confirmed that this payment of more than  14 000$ is indeed made by Erik Castro's checking account. So the case was closed and his card unfrozen again.

The fraud protection for credit cards is a very valuable service and the bank customers should be grateful for it. Erik Castro is also a grateful customer, even after the absurd case to have your own money frozen for more than one week, so it made for him that uncomfortable situation to be embarrassed in a Ross store because his credit card was rejected, and made him feel like a criminal after all those interrogations.  

He actually wasn't bothered about the frozen account and the suspicion on the transaction, he was bothered mostly because of the way the bank handled the situation and the long term they needed to clear everything out because he case could have been solved with one call to Bank of America, which was going to confirm the account of Castro and this transaction.

Ariel Brown is a spokeswoman at Capital One, and she confirms that the transaction of Mr. Castro was suspended because it was an unusual amount of money topping up his account. Unfortunately, she didn't give an answer about why paying off an unusual balance is flagged as potential fraud by the system, especially when that money is clearly coming from the account of the same person at another bank. 

The paradox is that there is no point that a scammer is going to pay your account, but even that, when a suspicious amount of money has been sent to your account, the system is going to freeze it until the action is proved. 

Mr. Castro had experienced another case with Capital a few years ago in which the bank flagged some dubious iTunes purchases and alerted him very quickly. They blocked his card and gave him a new one immediately. And another time he found an unknown transaction of a baby stroller and reported it to the bank himself. 

It looks like the only reason why Mr. Castro is still using Capital one is because he had accrued on the card 190 000 miles for a future trip, so if he cancels his account he loses them.  

Many people said that Capital one is a little bit overzealous in the efforts for protection - considering that the company has become a cybercrime victim in 2019 after a hacker had accessed the personal data of more than 100 million customers. And the case of Mr. Castro could be seen on the other hand as they are doing an investigation for that money because they could be stolen funds. 

Whatever is the reason, many customers will cancel their accounts in a company like this if they often experience that inconvenience.