Wednesday, April 20, 2016

  • Wednesday, April 20, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
I received a disturbing message from Pam Bloom, currently traveling in Israel:
I'm in Israel right now and was unable to use my Chase debit card at 3 machines. I called Chase. I was informed that I could not set up a "travel notification" for Israel due to Israel being on "list of restricted countries". When pressed, what that meant, they said that Israel was high risk. When pressed, they cited high risk for fraud. Following my call, about an hour later I tried again, my card worked, for 400 NIS.

Below are two screenshots, where I went to the Chase website and put in travel for Israel, with the Chase warning that my action could not be completed. For the Palestinian territories, my request was accepted. I continued to try Cuba, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran-all were not accepted, along with Israel.

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Chase told me that my card would possibly work but that they cannot guarantee it. I am now completely locked out of Chase but I will try again tomorrow.

In tweeting them, I finally received the Tweet, attached, that Chase now cites OFAC as why they can't process my request. I have a credit card, United card through Chase (probably white labeled), my travel notification works OK there so this appears to be a "business decision" and not a US government decision.
Here's the tweet:

OFAC's only public list is of countries that are under sanctions, at the moment. Israel is of course not on any of them, and there is a sanctions wiki that seems comprehensive.

This is very weird, and Chase should explain this policy which only seems to affect their debit cards, not credit cards. Although it is true that far more damage can be done to a consumer from having their debit card hacked than a credit card, so perhaps Chase is assuming Israel is a country that it is likely for people to be defrauded.

Either way, people who travel to Israel should know about things like this before they go so they can make appropriate decision.


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