Credit Card declined - forced to pay for insurance when picking up hire car

Without wishing to name names as it might have been a complete coincidence but...

Booked car hire online, paid full amount.  This was 2 months ago and was the only use of the credit card in the last 3 months.

A few days before we were going away I got a txt asking me to confirm or otherwise a transaction.   Not knowing whether the txt was genuine, and not wanting the card blocked, I ignored it, but checked the account regularly online, there were no transactions showing. 

Went on holiday, the credit card was declined.  Called them, they had blocked it anyway and wouldn't temporarily unblock for the car hire only.

I have no other credit card.  Car hire refused a card in my partners name, and refused my debit card.  So to get the car I had to pay 370 euros.

Just unfortunate, or does this all sound suspicious  ?  If the latter,  where do I go with it  ?  Nobody has actually done anything obviously wrong but I've lost out financially. 

Advice much appreciated. 
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Comments

  • As you know realise your error was ignoring the text about a suspicious transaction. If you were concerned about the originator of the text you should have called your bank on the regular number on the card/website and asked to be put through. 

    Its a bit of a far fetched idea that the hire car company has a mate in Nigeria that he calls and shares the credit card number with every time he has a customer without purchasing insurance to get him to run a bogus transaction on the credit card to trigger fraud alerts in the hope that the customer doesn't have another card to put down for the deposit. Most people who have a credit card have more than one so that's an instant fail. 

    You can speak to your bank to find the origin of the card being suspended but it may be a transaction you made and even if it was fraud, proving a link between the hire car company and the random corner shop in Nigeria is going to be next to impossible. 
  • Dick_here
    Dick_here Posts: 1,605
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    As you know realise your error was ignoring the text about a suspicious transaction. If you were concerned about the originator of the text you should have called your bank on the regular number on the card/website and asked to be put through. 

    Its a bit of a far fetched idea that the hire car company has a mate in Nigeria that he calls and shares the credit card number with every time he has a customer without purchasing insurance to get him to run a bogus transaction on the credit card to trigger fraud alerts in the hope that the customer doesn't have another card to put down for the deposit. Most people who have a credit card have more than one so that's an instant fail. 

    You can speak to your bank to find the origin of the card being suspended but it may be a transaction you made and even if it was fraud, proving a link between the hire car company and the random corner shop in Nigeria is going to be next to impossible. 
    Even if I had spoken to the CC provider immediately, they'd have immediately cancelled my card and I didn't have 7-10 days available for a new one.

    It feels dodgy to me that the fraud happened at that point, 2 months after last using the card for the car hire booking. 

    Appreciate your response of course,  thanks. 
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • As you know realise your error was ignoring the text about a suspicious transaction. If you were concerned about the originator of the text you should have called your bank on the regular number on the card/website and asked to be put through. 

    Its a bit of a far fetched idea that the hire car company has a mate in Nigeria that he calls and shares the credit card number with every time he has a customer without purchasing insurance to get him to run a bogus transaction on the credit card to trigger fraud alerts in the hope that the customer doesn't have another card to put down for the deposit. Most people who have a credit card have more than one so that's an instant fail. 

    You can speak to your bank to find the origin of the card being suspended but it may be a transaction you made and even if it was fraud, proving a link between the hire car company and the random corner shop in Nigeria is going to be next to impossible. 
    Even if I had spoken to the CC provider immediately, they'd have immediately cancelled my card and I didn't have 7-10 days available for a new one.

    It feels dodgy to me that the fraud happened at that point, 2 months after last using the card for the car hire booking. 

    Appreciate your response of course,  thanks. 
    Wife hasn't lost her purse in a decade, she but then had it stolen in the first weeks of a 6 month trip and so whilst AmEx were great about it, NatWest were useless and Starling wanted to charge a "not for profit" £40 to ship it out to her (I note they've now significantly reduced that fee). Maybe Starling arranged for it to be stolen to make the profit on the fee? Or maybe it's just a coincidence. 

    Your bank will be able to tell you the details of the transaction that raised their suspicions if you are interested. Personally I'd want to know in case its something important that they have incorrectly flagged as fraud... Barclays used to flag may debit card payments to NatWest Credit card as fraud every month for about 6-9 months. You could find your home insurance has been cancelled or such for non-payment if you've forgotten they had an annual CPA on the credit card.

    It also be very unusual for them to immediately cancel the card, suspend it probably until the customer contacts and cancel if the customer fails to contact. It's going to be rare that a bank can say with absolute certainty that a transaction isnt genuine. 
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,209
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    edited 21 September 2023 at 12:57PM
    I'd have thought the most likely source of the transaction was the car hire company themselves authorising your card so they know it's still active/has credit before the car hire. Did the text not say who the company making the transaction was? Was it a pre-authorisation, or for a trival/zero amount?
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