In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless, and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

ATM/debit card frauds up

Chandigarh:Plastic card holders beware! Predators are working upon your data to steal your hard-earned money. For instance, A Mohali-based assistant professor lost Rs 73,500 to fraudsters earlier this year. Interestingly, the debit card was very much with her.

Another incidence involves a Chandigarh resident who called the customer care of the bank after getting the number from a website. He wanted to know the delivery status of his cheque book. The impostor, who posed as a customer care executive, asked for the debit card number and the one-time password (OTP). Being an aware customer, he refused to share the details. Most of the gullible customers, however, become easy victims.

The Reserve Bank of India’s data shows that customer complaints from Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were 8,189 in 2016-17. The number is likely to exceed over 9,000 for 2017-18. The RBI compiles data with a lag. Its northern region involves only three districts of Haryana.

According to RBI officials, most of the cases involve unaware customers who share their OTPs with the fraudulent callers posing as bank officials.

Chandigarh-based RBI regional office is alarmed at the rising cases of such frauds in the northern region. There is a spurt in such activities because of increasing use of online transactions and growth of e-commerce and digital payments.

“The increase in fraudulent transactions is attributed to lack of awareness where people often share their personal and card details,” RBI Regional Director Rachna Dixit said.

In the annual publication on banking ombudsman for 2016-17, RBI said it had received 1,30,987 complaints, i.e., 27% more cases compared to the previous year. The banking ombudsman in New Delhi received the highest number of complaints (24,837) that contributed 19% of the total complaints received from across the country. Four metro centres i.e New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and two non-metro centres — Ahmedabad and Chandigarh put together — accounted for 58% of the total complaints. In order to make the customers aware, the RBI has decided to observe the first week of the month (June 4 to 8) as Financial Literacy Week.