False Positive?

I received an SMS message from my bank this morning telling me that my bank pass had been blocked because it had been skimmed.

This I find very strange, because I have only used it twice in the last ten days. Once at a checkout in our local supermarket, and once to load ten euros onto my OV travel card at our local town station. In both cases, the card readers looked perfectly standard, and there were no obvious signs of tampering.

There are also no fraudulent transactions showing up on my account either.

The SMS informed me that I would be sent a new bank pass within five working days. I thought that seemed a long time to wait, so I rang the bank to see what could be done in the meantime. It transpires that the only way I can conduct any business at all is to go to my nearest branch and draw out some cash. That’s all very well, but they’ve closed the branch in our local town. I’d have to travel by car to the nearest big town – 30 minutes drive – to find the nearest branch.

I asked if it would be possible to be told when and where this supposed skimming had taken place. “Oh no”, came the answer, “we don’t give out information like that”.

Frankly, I don’t believe that my card has been skimmed at all, I suspect that a glitch in the system has produced a false positive, and I’m simply the dupe who has to put up with the inconvenience.

Update: indeed, my card was not skimmed. I was in our local supermarket again today, and there were signs everywhere saying that bank pass cards may have been blocked – but the skimming took place in Doetinchem, which is a town 10 kilometres away. It looks as though the bank just decided to block all cards held by people living within a 20 km radius of the skimming, rather than just those cards that had been skimmed. That’s taking a very big sledgehammer to crack a very small nut, and simply irritates and inconveniences their customers.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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