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If you are a victim of banking fraud, here's what you can do

July 20, 2015 16:32 IST

The onus is on the customer to prove his innocence. Banks don't take responsibility.

New technologies are changing the way we transact.

Banks are increasingly focusing on mobile applications and launching products such as funds transfers via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and mobile wallets.  

Being easy and convenient, there has been a 55 times rise in the value usage of mobile banking and 5.5 times rise in the volume of transactions between financial years 2012 and 2015, according to a report from Assocham and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  

The sudden spurt in extensive use of technology, however, is making customers increasingly vulnerable to risks such as phishing, identity theft, card skimming, and vishing (making consumers disclose sensitive information over telephone calls).  

Around 65 per cent of all fraud cases reported by banks were technology-related, says the report.  

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad recently said in Parliament that 9,300 cases involving credit and ATM cards and internet banking frauds were reported in April-December 2014.

Experts believe the reported numbers are low. And that's because the Reserve Bank of India has not standardised the reporting of such cases.

It's banks' discretion to report. While one bank may provide data for all such cases, another might only report only those proven.

If a customer falls prey to a fraud, the onus is on him to prove it wasn't his mistake. Banks do not take responsibility.

Though RBI believes the primary responsibility of preventing fraud lies with banks; it has done little to shift the onus of investigation from customers to banks.

It's the victim who has to do the running around, following up with police and banks. In the current set-up, the only recourse for the customer is going to court to prove his or her innocence and get compensated.  

If you are a victim....

• Immediately block the card. Give details of amount debited. Get a reference number

• For online fraud, approach cyber cell and file a complaint

• For other fraud, lodge a complaint with nearest police station

• Send a legal notice to the bank, asking to preserve original records and camera footages

• Maintain written communication with bank’s nodal officer

• If bank dismisses your case, approach ombudsman in 30 days

• If aggrieved by ombudsman’s decision, approach the appellate authority, an RBI deputy governor

• Follow up with police. Take the case to court if no progress for a month

 

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Tinesh Bhasin
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