'Be cautious with your belongings': Singaporean loses about $12k after credit cards stolen in Japan

'Be cautious with your belongings': Singaporean loses about $12k after credit cards stolen in Japan
Singaporean woman has her credit cards stolen while travelling in Tokyo, Japan.
PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/WeiWei, Unsplash

Losing both your credit cards and money while abroad is a traveller's worst nightmare.

And that's what happened to a Singaporean man who had his credit cards stolen while holidaying in Japan.

This traveller, who only wanted to be known as Lee, shared about his experience on TikTok last Saturday (April 13): "My two credit cards were stolen while I was in Tokyo, Japan, and were misused for a total of three transactions amounting to $11,600 by the thief."

Lee told AsiaOne that he realised that his credit cards were missing after receiving a transaction alert from a bank notifying him of an unauthorised transaction. 

Lee shared screenshots of the fraudulent transactions made on Apr 10 on his Standard Chartered Simply Cash Credit Card which showed three purchases made at two major department stores in Tokyo — Mitsukoshi Ginza and Matsuya Ginza — amounting to 1,311,049 yen ($11,600).

"What surprised me the most was that the second credit card which was left unused in the trip was also missing," Lee told AsiaOne.

According to Lee, his DBS credit card was also stolen but "the transaction was declined due to the credit limit."

He said he does not know how his credit cards were stolen in Tokyo, but Lee mentioned that he immediately contacted both banks to block the credit cards upon realising that large sums of money were deducted from his account.

Lee said he only realised his credit cards were stolen hours before his flight back to Singapore from Narita International Airport. He was unable not make a police report in Tokyo. 

"As I was about to board the flight, I was unable to go to the police station to make a report," he told AsiaOne.

Cannot get his money back

He said he also tried to seek assistance from the information counter staff at the airport but said that they were unable to help him. 

Hence, he lodged a police report on Singapore Police Force's online portal before boarding his flight. The police, when contacted by AsiaOne, confirmed that a report had been lodged. 

Heeding his friend's advice, Lee also reached out to the Singapore embassy in Japan. But since he was already back in Singapore, he was directed to the Japanese embassy in Singapore. 

He was then directed back to the Singapore embassy in Japan as they were not in position to provide any assistance in the matter, said Lee.

"It feels like they are passing the responsibility back and forth," Lee wrote in disappointment.

Lee told AsiaOne that the bank has informed him that they cannot guarantee the retrieval of the funds and requires an investigation, which is expected to take approximately 10 working days.

'Be cautious'

Even though he enjoyed his trip to Japan, he told AsiaOne that it was disheartening to experience such an incident. 

"It's disappointing that nobody could offer assistance when such situations arose," Lee said, adding that it was his first time getting his credit cards stolen overseas. 

Wanting to share his lessons learnt from the incident, Lee advised travellers to be cautious even if a country is considered to be generally safe.

"Be cautious with your belongings to avoid theft and finding yourself in a similarly difficult situation as mine," he told AsiaOne. 

To avoid falling victim to such situations in the future, Lee said he would consider setting a credit limit for his credit card or use multi-currency cards for overseas travel like YouTrip.

Lee's post caught the attention of many online who sympathised with him and hoped that he would be able to recover the money lost.

A netizen commented: "Thanks for sharing! Hope everything will be resolved soon. Please keep us updated of the outcome! Good luck!"

Some who have experienced a similar situation overseas, gave Lee tips on how he could recover his stolen money.

A few also gave some advice to Lee to prevent similar mishaps in the future.

"I don't carry physical cards anymore, just tap using Google wallet or apple pay," a TikTok user commented.

ALSO READ: Singaporean couple who parked car at KSL Hotel finds door and trunk broken into, cash and clothes missing


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