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Online Bank Fraud

What are the common ways in which I can lose money?

Here are some of the situations that you may find yourself in:

  • Your credit or debit card can be cloned when you use it in a shop or restaurant.
  • Fake calls pretending to be from the bank, to steal your card or PIN number.
  • Fake emails linking you to sites that steal your login details (known as ‘phishing’ emails).
  • Fake emails with virus attachments that steal financial information from your computer.
  • Scams that promise to transfer money into your account, but steal all your data instead.

What can I do if I am a victim of any of the situations mentioned above?

If something like this happens, you have the following options:

  1. Lodge a complaint with the bank
    • Most banks have staff dedicated to matters like this. The relevant contact details are found on the backside of your card as well as the website of the bank.
    • If you have suffered a loss you must immediately contact the banks via phone (preferable) or email. Do not forget to note the complaint number and follow up your complaint using the same number.
    • The Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers (CBCC) enacted by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) mandates each bank branch to display the name of the official at the bank branch responsible for addressing customer grievances. If your complaint is unresolved at the branch level, you may approach the Regional or Zonal Manager, or the Principal Nodal Officer (PNO) at the address displayed at the branch.
    • Telephone numbers of help desks are also displayed at every ATM machine.
    • Typically, within 30 days of receiving the complaint, the bank will send you a final response or explain why more time is needed to investigate. The Bank will also tell you the process to take the complaint forward in the event you are still unsatisfied after the final response from the bank.
  2. File a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman in your jurisdiction
    • If you are not satisfied with the resolution provided by the bank and would like to escalate the matter, you can approach the Banking Ombudsman established by the Reserve Bank of India under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006.
    • Each bank is required to display at its branch the details of the Banking Ombudsman under whose jurisdiction the branch falls. To access the Contact details of all the Banking Ombudsman click here. To lodge an online Complaint with the respective Banking Ombudsmen, click here.
    • You can only do this once you have tried to settle matters with the bank, and failed. If you file a case in Court, such as the Consumer Court, you cannot approach the Ombudsman while the case is going on.
    • If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Banking Ombudsman, you may approach the appellate authority against the Ombudsman’s decision – the Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India. This appeal must be made within 30 days of the Ombudsman’s decision.

File a complaint with the nearest cyber crime cell/police station

This may either be done in person, or in some states, through an online portal. Criminal proceedings usually take more time and result in jail or fine for the offender, not just compensation to you.

File a case with the relevant consumer forum

The Consumer Forum is present at the District, State and National Levels. You can file a case there depending on 2 factors:

  • The amount of money you lost.
  • Sr No.ForumsAmount
    1 District Forum Upto Rs. 20 Lakhs
    2 State Commission Rs. 20 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crores
    3 National Commission Exceeding Rs. 1 Crores
  • Where the loss happened. You can file the complaint in the place where the money was lost, or where the opposite party (that is, the bank) carries on their business.

You should approach consumer forums only when you feel that the bank has been negligent, and has not given you proper service. The forum does not prosecute the actual culprit.

Generally, cases cannot be simultaneously filed before the consumer courts as well as the Banking Ombudsman.

What should I do to protect myself while transacting online?

  • Never reveal personal financial information (PIN, internet banking passwords etc.) to anyone, including those who claim to be authorized representatives of the bank.
  • Enable One Time Password for all online transactions, and subscribe to mobile and email alerts for notification of transactions.
  • Use unique passwords and avoid using personally identifiable information like birth dates.
  • Change your internet banking password on a regular basis.
  • Do not open links from suspicious emails, and make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software. If you do end up opening a site believing it to be authentic, check for the padlock symbol next to the site and double click on it for the site certificate before entering personal information.
  • Do not open links from suspicious emails, and make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software. If you do end up opening a site believing it to be authentic, check for the padlock symbol next to the site and double click on it for the site certificate before entering personal information.
  • Make sure you use the password protection offered on your mobile device.
  • Do not fall prey to offers of money that sound too good to be true! This includes lottery winnings and foreigners asking if they can send money into your account.
  • Always follow bank instructions and avoid carrying out banking transactions on public computers. If they must be used, make sure you log out of your account and delete browsing history after finishing the transaction.

Source: Nyaaya



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