CIBC Washes Its Hands of Credit Card Fraud

By: Gary Parkinson on September 14, 2012

Anything to do with money means covering your tracks especially with the sad reality that there are always loopholes that big banks and credit card providers will use to force payments or get out of reimbursements. In one case where there was clear credit card fraud the charges should be made null and void, but CIBC Visa is insisting one woman pay the charges her sister fraudulently put on the stolen credit card.

Mary Anne Mitchell an elderly woman who was recuperating from emergency surgery at the time of the fraud in April of last year, asked her sister to stay at her apartment during her surgery. Mary Anne gave her sister Patricia Marion her bank card with the PIN number to buy food for the pets she was looking after. While staying at the apartment Patricia came across the Visa card as well; quickly deducing that the PIN was the same for both cards and learning the credit card had access to the bank account, Patricia racked up over $11,000 in debt on the credit card while making off with $4,500 from Mary Anne’s bank account. Since then Patricia is facing charges of theft over $5,000, fraud, theft and possession of a stolen credit card.

But the debt still remains; and CIBC says its Mary Anne’s problem who now makes $250 monthly payments, with the bank insisting more must be done. Her ex-husband who has power of attorney says that the charges were so inconsistent with Mary Anne’s purchasing patterns that CIBC should have known something was wrong and deactivated the card, especially when calls were made to change the billing address by a woman who was clearly not his ex-wife. He also says Mary Anne suffers from anxiety disorder and is unable to take charge in these types of circumstances, something he claims the bank is taking advantage of.

CIBC is claiming that because the PIN was given out even though that was for the bank card not the credit card, they are unable to do anything. The long period of inactivity on Mary Anne’s part to report fraudulent activity is also being claimed; however, her ex-husband wrote to the bank that because the billing address was changed and due to her anxiety Mary Anne had no way of knowing that something was wrong.

The key piece of this case is lack of trust towards the banks and sadly, family as well. Investigations are still underway but Mary Anne has learned the hard way; never hand over your bank or credit card information.