Online frauds in India and Banks’ Negligence

Just little more than a month ago, I received a SMS on my mobile phone warning me of a transaction for USD 85 on Immediately the same day and within minutes i had sent a mail to the bank whose credit card i was having to block the said transaction and also block my credit card in order to obviate any further transactions. The bank, a leading private sector bank with otherwise impeccable credentials, simply slept on the matter. Alarmed I reminded them by the evening of the fraud that had taking place on my credit card and asking them to do something about it. None. Nope. No reply. By night I was desperate and therefore marked a copy of my mail to the managing director of the famous bank, but again NYET, no reply from them. Then I got wildly desperate and started banging them to respond. In the meanwhile i called their toll free IVRS number and after about 30 minutes was directed to talk to an inexperienced, immature, callous call centre guy who did not understand what the matter was about and kept repeating the instructions placed on his computer screen. Then i shouted BLOCK MY CREDIT CARD, he sufficiently fearful now, sent his problem upwards and finally after about one hour of conversation, got the credit card blocked. Phew!! 

The next day after much banging again, the bank responded by saying that they are giving me temporary credit on my credit card to the extent that was already debited and will look into the problem (typical red tape language). I told them that if they had acted with alacrity then the transaction could have been blocked and the items not shipped at all, if at all they were shipped, because it could have been easily verified that the transaction was not made from my IP address. Dumb, really dumb bankers!!

Which now leads me to a big question – that of increasing frequency of online frauds taking place in India very rampantly these days. These frauds range from skimming the ATM scanner so that when you swipe your ATM or debit card on the machine someone is able to make a duplicate card on the basis of information gathered therein and make fraudulent transactions worth thousands of rupees from customers’ accounts. 

Very recently i had visited my regular ATM from where i take the money. I saw that the ATM was not having any security at all, there were no uniformed, armed security guards at the ATM entrance or anywhere nearby. Most of the times the ATM doors are also freely open with the result that anybody can enter the ATM booth and install skimming machines or equipments without anybody noticing it. No doubt there are CCTV cameras installed but considering the apathy with which government servants do their job (this was a government owned nationalised banks’ ATM) it could be days or months before anyone notices the lapse, if at all anyone notices it. 

This is a pathetic state of affairs and I don’t understand what the RBI or other banks are doing about it. 

Customers withdrawing monies from ATM are at a big risk because banks are least bothered to do even minimum required to protect them from online frauds. I believe only when a politician or his kin loses money will the government or the RBI or the banks act in this regard. 

In the meanwhile the common man has to recite thousands of prayers every time he enters an ATM kiosk to do any transaction. Jai Ho India


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