Banks to protect MH17 victims from fraud

Banks in The Netherlands promise to insure any damage arising out of the misuse of bank cards belonging to victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash. Surviving relatives have been assured that the banks have taken this possibility into account, according to Trouw. 

ING, ABN Amro and SNS Bank spokespersons tell Trouw that they are keeping an eye on all transactions taking place in the area surrounding the crash site in Ukraine, and that any eventual damages will be compensated. "If there are any irregularities coming from that area, we will execute action against that", a spokesperson from ING says.

According to Trouw, there have been reports coming from Ukraine that separatists in the area have raided the crash site and made away with passengers' valuables, including bank and credit cards as well as phones. It is unclear whether phone companies are also able to detect and report irregularities. According to Anton Geraschenko, advisor to Ukraine's Minister of the Interior Avakov, the rebels plundered the area before investigative teams were granted access. "They left nothing of value behind."

The banks want to emphasize that there is very little chance that any of the cards could be used fraudulently, however. "A bank card or credit card without pin code is not usable, in principle", a spokesperson from ABN Amro says. SNS bank cards are fitted with 'geo-blocking' technology, which makes use abroad impossible unless the owner removes the block.

Geraschenko advises surviving relatives to block bank cards "so that financial assets won't be used for terror aims."

Banks assure surviving relatives that they may contact the service desks for questions and concerns at any time, and to block the bank cards.

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