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February 10, 2012

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Stolen, abused credit card: Who pays?

A man whose new credit card was stolen in the mail refused to pay "his" debts after China Construction Bank launched a lawsuit against him, the Huangpu District People's Court said yesterday.

The defendant, Yang Xiong, 42, claimed he had never received the new credit card he applied for at the bank's Shanghai branch on December 21, 2009. An investigation found that Liang Faxiang, a security guard in Yang's company, signed for him when the card was mailed to Yang's office on December 23.

On June 24, 2010, Liang used his own cell phone in an attempt to activate the card but failed as the bank employee told him to use the registered mobile phone number, the court heard. On July 3, Liang successfully used Yang's mobile phone, which was left on the office desk, to activate the card, set a password and change the mobile phone number linked to the card, the court was told.

The guard, who is still at large, left Yang debts of more than 18,000 yuan (US$2,859) through shopping and drawing ATM cash, the court heard. Yang reported to the police in September 2010, after the bank called him for payment.

Yang refused to pay for the overdraft consumption, emphasizing that "none of the transactions belonged to him." The bank insisted Yang should make the payment.

The court also heard that the bank approved Liang's request after asking him two questions to confirm the card holder's identity. They involved company name and past consumption record.

The bank said the questions were randomly picked from information the applicant had filled out.


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