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For credit card companies, dead or alive doesn’t matter
Publication Date : 13-08-2013
One conglomerate-based and two bank-based financial firms were found to have issued credit cards to dead customers, according to the state regulator on Monday.
The Financial Supervisory Service detected 33 cases of identity theft in credit card renewals, where families of deceased credit card users kept and renewed the contract.
The FSS has requested the Korea Federation of Banks to biannually submit fiscal transaction information of the deceased since 2011. But credit card sign-up assistants are easily tempted to “cheat” guidelines amid ever-growing sales competition pressure.
Samsung Card, Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card were caught renewing and reissuing credit cards to customers after their death.
Such identity theft occurred most at Shinhan Card, which reissued 20 credit cards to the families of dead people, between November 2008 and September 2011.
KB Kookmin Card also issued eight credit cards to identity thieves from July 2007 through November 2010. Similarly, Samsung Card issued five credit cards to people who faked identities.
Credit card companies insisted that the identity thefts had been of minor severity compared to identity theft in new sign-ups, as credit cards have typically been almost automatically re-issued to users. Card company officials make confirmation calls as the sole verification process, but card company officials admitted they had been lax in carrying out this policy.
“Some family members of dead card owners turned out to keep the cards and change the payment account to theirs, mostly for delinquency issues. We submit related documents to the Korea Federation of Banks twice a year, but there has been some communication difficulties,” a Shinhan Card spokesperson said.
A Samsung Card spokesperson also made similar claims, denying possible third-party identity theft.
“(The identity theft) happened back when we had been lax in carrying out the identification process by phone,” the spokesperson said.
Upon detecting recurrent cases of financial identity theft in the card sector, the FSS vowed to punish banks, brokerages and other financial entities, should they be found to be involved in such crimes.