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The other day, I was having lunch packed at Hotel Pai Viceroy (in Jayanagar 3rd Block, Bangalore). Since I wasn’t carrying enough cash, I handed over my Debit Card. A couple of minutes later, I received a transaction alert SMS on my mobile. So far so good. A couple of minutes later, I received a second transaction alert SMS for the same amount. Now, given all the distractions/worries that we have on our mind, our first reaction is typically to brush aside such issues since duplicate SMS delivery happens every now and then.
In this case however, the Sender ID for the second alert was different from that of the first alert. That raised my suspicion. And luckily, my bank also includes the account balance in the alert. The two balances were different with the difference being equal to the bill amount. Figured out that someone must have swiped the Debit Card twice.
Immediately brought this to the hotel’s attention. The restaurant staff disappeared for some time only to come back with a lame excuse that the accountant was newly employed and blah blah and that the second transaction had now been voided (they did give me a Void Sale transaction receipt as proof and having worked for many years in the electronic payment industry I knew that the amount would be credited back into my bank account).
But newly employed or not, why you’d swipe the Debit Card again when you already have the transaction slips from the first swipe is beyond my understanding.
Soon as I went home, I verified the reversal by logging in through Net Banking and by looking at the mini-statement. This hasn’t happened to me before, but now I know the value of having mobile alerts enabled (but what does one do when due to network congestion and other reasons the alerts are often delivered quite late?).
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