A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013
A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013.REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Phot

India has been witnessing a huge rise in fraud involving cases related to credit/debit cards and internet banking. As per the data provided by the Reserve Bank of India, over 25,800 fraud cases involving about Rs 179 crores were reported in December 2017.

The data also revealed that Maharashtra topped the list of internet banking-related frauds with 380 cases worth Rs 12.10 crore in fiscal 2016-17. Maharashtra was followed by Haryana with 238 cases (Rs 8.27 crore), Karnataka with 221 cases (Rs 9.16 crore), Tamil Nadu with 208 cases (Rs 4.38 crore) and Delhi with 156 cases (Rs 3.43 crore).

Never-ending frauds

There are thousands of posts and tweets by the victims on various social media sites complaining about the failure on the part of banks to provide basic security to their customers. And even after losing a huge amount, the customers have to go through a long process in order to get their money back.

Hemant Abhishek, who works as a senior editor at 20Med Media, posted on his LinkedIn account on Friday that he saw a transaction alert on his mother's savings bank account saying, "A purchase worth Rs 1899 at OneAssist." And when he asked about the purchase to his mother, he was shocked to hear "NO"!

He claimed that 'OneAssist Consumer Solutions' had repeatedly called a number connected to his mother's bank account. They had claimed that her "debit card was at risk of fraud and she needed a protection plan". They called her several times and each time she said a clear "no" but despite that, the amount has been debited from her account.

He questioned the bank's accountability stating that on what accounts did they pass on the number of a senior citizen to such 'phishing' attempts. "How can the ICICI Bank allow the 3rd party to go into account & withdraw money sans Account#/PIN/OTP?" he said.

The fooling tricks

Both police and banks caution the public from sharing their account details and one-time passwords (OTPs) with anyone, especially the fraudster who called the customers and claiming that their cards need protection or they have expired.

In addition, the fraudster tries to trap the customers through various tricks like informing them that they were eligible to redeem a good amount as 'reward points' or bank would offer certain interest on the amount deposited in their accounts, only if they link it with Aadhaar. Notably, these tricks to fool the customers are known as vishing, smishing and phishing.

Thus, the customers who aren't aware of these frauds end up losing amount from their bank accounts. They share their personal details like date of birth, account number and even reveal the OTP number that is generated at the final stage of online transactions.

Interestingly, fraudsters never transferred the stolen money into their accounts, they rather use the money for online shopping through e-commerce sites or transfer the amount to various e-wallets like Paytm and Mobiwik. In such cases, the bank usually refunds only those customers whose money being withdrawn from their accounts without their verbal consent.

According to the rules of the Reserve Bank of India, if the loss occurred due to customer's negligence like sharing of payment credentials then the customer will bear the entire loss until he reports about it to the bank.

Any loss occurring after the reporting of the fake transaction shall be borne by the bank. Besides, customers are asked to block their ATM cards immediately and requested to register a complaint at the respective district cyber cell without causing much delay.