• Mon. May 29th, 2023

ATM-related fraud has become a growing concern, with fraudsters constantly devising new and innovative ways to scam unsuspecting victims. Some of the most common types of ATM fraud include card skimming, card trapping, cash entrapment, shoulder surfing, and phishing. These techniques involve stealing the victim’s ATM card details, PIN or even the cash dispensed by the ATM.

According to reports, many users face awkward situations when they insert a debit card into an ATM in an unsupervised area and then the card gets stuck in the machine.

Fraudsters on two wheels prowl around unguarded ATMs to pounce on unsuspecting debit card users to cheat them out of their hard-earned money/savings by cloning cards and even cleverly replacing them.

ATM fraud: modus operandi

The story does not end here because within moments of your card being replaced by fraudsters, one starts receiving a series of shocks as the person would receive a message of withdrawal from the account linked to the debit card.

You realize that you have been cheated, you have been robbed from a few thousand to a few lakhs.

Hard to believe, but the story is true. According to a news agency report PTI, many such gangs operate in several parts of the country with the aim of helping unfortunate debit card holders who may have entered a PIN for withdrawal. But after dispensing cash, the card gets stuck and the ATM screen starts showing the balance amount, phone number and other details.

As soon as you realize something is wrong with the machine, two or three people burst in and one of them engages you in a conversation while the other replaces your card with another.

In no time they will be gone and thereafter your registered mobile will get withdrawal messages after some time.

Customers in a panic call the bank to block the card, it is already out of a few thousand. Deactivating the card itself is sometimes a cumbersome process as banks do not have a dedicated line or team to handle these issues. As the card is blocked, several thousand more have disappeared.

You would approach your branch and simultaneously file a complaint with the cybercrime branch, thinking they would help you get your money back.

However, the banks would provide a standard response that your PIN may have been compromised so they cannot refund money while the cybercrime branch may not have time to handle your case as she has records of such cases. So your case is one of thousands. If the problem involves more than one bank, coordination is another issue.

According to RBI data, 65,893 “card/internet/ATM/debit card, credit card and internet banking” related frauds took place in 2021-22 involving a sum of Rs 258.61 crore.

ATM card exchange

Some customers have faced such cases and shared their experience. For example, a senior journalist in Delhi was faced with having his card redeemed at one of these ATMs. His private sector bank debit card was replaced with a card from a public sector bank on the pretext of helping him get out his blocked card, PTI reported.

He realized he had been cheated within 10 minutes of the ATM incident when he received withdrawal notifications on his mobile. He called the helpline to block the card and, to his surprise, money was debited from his account because the bank’s customer service manager was slow to deactivate the stolen debit card.

To show that he had the details of the appeal but neither the bank concerned admitted the details of the appeal nor did the RBI Ombudsman review it after following the advice of the RBI to file complaints as soon as possible.

The bank expressed its inability to comply with the request to reverse the amount lost after the plaintiff deactivated the card.

“The complaint is dismissed under clause 16(2)(a) of the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021: ‘In the opinion of the Ombudsman, there is no deficiency in the service’ , a response he received from the mediator concerned.

THE PTI report added that on the same day, a similar incident happened again in East Delhi where the victim was a housewife, who went to the ATM of a public sector lender’s bank , but in this case, the blocked card was replaced by fraudsters from the same bank, the report added.

With the stolen card, the fraudsters had gone shopping by exchanging cards. The withdrawal notification alerted the customers and the deactivation was done after losing almost Rs 1 lakh.

Fraudsters are inventing new ways to deceive customers daily while the grievance redress mechanism is not correcting itself at the same rate.

Complaint against the bank

Customers using banking services sometimes encounter several challenges and they need quick resolution of the complaints they raise.

Many customers point out some common complaints, such as high fees and charges that banks charge for various services such as ATM withdrawals, NSF checks, minimum balance without maintenance, etc.

However, some complaints are internal to a particular bank and a customer needs its resolution.

It could also be bad customer service. Customers often complain about the poor customer service provided by banks. Long wait times, unresponsive customer service, and unclear procedures are some of the common grievances.

How to file a complaint against the bank with the RBI?

If your complaint against a bank/NBFC or payment system participant is dismissed or not resolved to your satisfaction by the relevant entity, you can now file a complaint on the Complaints Management System or CMS Portal on the website from RBI (https://cms[dot]RBI[dot]org[dot]in) or via the link on the RBI app.

CMS provides a one-stop platform for quick and easy online filing, complaint tracking and also for filing appeals. All complaints lodged on CMS would be directed to the appropriate RBI Ombudsman’s Office / RBI Regional Offices.

Customers should note that before approaching the Ombudsman, it is mandatory to first lodge the complaint with the bank concerned. It is only in the event of non-receipt of a response, within 30 days of the filing of the complaint, from your bank or if the complaint is totally or partially rejected by the bank, that the complaint can be registered with of the Ombudsman.

(With PTI inputs)

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