Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

Online fraud

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This morning I woke up to an email telling me that my QNB Mastercard had been cancelled. My initial thought was that it was one of a series of regular spam emails I receive from banks where I have no accounts. I checked for the ‘click here to logon’ link, where my username and password would be stolen, but there was none.

My phone also had two SMS messages about small transactions made in the middle of the night. One for 6.9 Euro to Xing Events, the other, half an hour later was made at the Ramada Plaza for $4.33. The latter had been declined as a suspicious transaction.

The first thing I did was to phone QNB to find out what was going on. I had assumed that Ramada Plaza transaction had taken place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Doha, as it was formerly named Ramada Plaza… the crossroads near the hotel is still called Ramada Junction even though the hotel changed names a few years ago, but it was the Ramada Plaza in New York. The fraudster will, apparently, first attempt to use the card for small transactions. If these work, the next will be a major purchase.

I was told that both payments would be refunded but that I would need to get a new card from one of the two local card centres. The nearest, at the Qatar Sports Club, was only a 15 minute drive. I arrived there, filled in two forms and five minutes later I had a new credit card. I am impressed by the efficiency of QNB in catching the fraud at an early stage and getting the card replaced so quickly.

I have no idea where my card details were compromised, however I have moved from a Titanium card to a Platinum card which I will interpret as an increase in status.




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