Israeli victims’ credit cards reportedly abused by terrorists after Hamas onslaught

Central bank, credit card firms say they’ve been following the situation since the start of the war and are acting swiftly to freeze cards and bank accounts

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

An illustrative image of a stack of credit cards. (alexialex; iStock by Getty Images)
An illustrative image of a stack of credit cards. (alexialex; iStock by Getty Images)

Hamas terrorists have allegedly stolen credit cards from Israeli victims to make purchases after launching their murderous rampage on Saturday, which has left more than 1,000 civilians dead and wounded thousands more.

“Due to the security situation, we have seen cases where credit cards and bank account information are being misused,” the Bank of Israel said in a statement.  “These situations have been dealt with since the outset by professionals at the Bank of Israel.”

According to Hebrew media reports, credit cards were stolen from Israelis who were brutally killed, as well as from those who were taken hostage by Hamas, and those who fled their homes.

The central bank said that it has established a special Banking Supervision Department team to work in cooperation with government and security personnel to handle the credit card theft cases.

In cases when it is known that the account or credit card of the Israeli victim is being used, family members can contact the bank or credit card company in order to freeze activity, the central bank said.

“The Banking Supervision Department has instructed the supervised entities to act in such a situation to freeze the account, utilizing the necessary risk management and conducting a rapid identification process that is adapted to the situation,” the central bank said. “We emphasize that… when a means of payment is misused by belligerent actors in order to steal money from citizens, customers’ money is insured and will be returned.”

Following the reports, Israel’s largest credit card company Isracard said in response that it as well as other credit card companies and banks have been monitoring the issue from the onset of the war and are working in full coordination with security agencies, civil organizations and private individuals in order to block cards and freeze accounts if necessary.

“It should be emphasized that as of this moment no official list of missing persons has been received from the State of Israel and therefore we are only basing ourselves on reports from families, communities and authorized security forces,” Isracard said.

Isracard said it has opened a hotline for inquiries and confirmed that credit cards that have been misused will be credited.

“The Banking Supervision Department, the commercial banks, and the credit card companies are constantly monitoring the situation, and call on the public to obtain assistance on these matters as necessary, whether by contacting the financial institution where the account is managed or by contacting the Banking Supervision Department’s special call center,” the central bank said.

The central bank urged those who are concerned about credit card misuse to notify their financial institutions so that the cards can be frozen and to prevent damage to their accounts.

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