A new Card Stop number in Belgium became active on Monday so people can avoid extra charges when using this service rather than paying €0.30 per minute.
The former number 070/344.344 has now been updated. From Monday 10 January, people whose bank card is lost or stolen or who suspect they are being targeted by scams can call the number 078/170.170, which will be available 24 hours per day, Federal Minister of Telecommunications Petra De Sutter announced in a press release.
“From now on, there will be no additional charges for this Card Stop service. It is indeed absurd to have to pay extra to prevent ill-intentioned people from using your stolen bank card to withdraw money,” De Sutter said.
The number had to be changed so the 078 telephone prefix of nationally-priced special numbers was no longer being used. From Monday, calls to the service will cost the price of a normal call.
“As most customers now have a mobile subscription, we are making sure that a call to Card Stop is included in the call minutes of this subscription in order to avoid additional charges,” De Sutter said.
When calling the number, assistance can be provided in Dutch, French and English. It can also be reached from abroad by dialling the country code +32 at the start of the number.
The old number will still be reachable in the coming years to ensure a smooth transition for people who are not yet aware of the change, however, they will still incur costs when calling the 070 number.
One call to block all
Aside from launching this new number, the Card Stop services will also be expanded in 2022. Currently, a call to this number only blocks a person’s bank card, but not the account or app, even though it is important to do so, as fraudsters may still have access to these, meaning they can still steal money.
This update will ensure that one phone call to Card Stop will be enough to block access to all three, which she stressed was important in the battle against phishing, State Secretary for Consumer Protection Eva De Bleeker announced on Radio 2 last year.
The Card Stop 070 number was launched in 1993 by Belgian banks to assist customers. In 2021, the service received 824,127 calls, mainly concerning lost cards (68%), but also victims of internet fraud (25%) or cases of theft (8%).