Imagine getting an SMS from your bank informing you of a withdrawal of Rs 15,000 from your account. You immediately reach for your wallet to check if your debit card is with you.
It is. Relief!
Then, you read the SMS again and realise that the ATM from where the money has been withdrawn is not even in the city you reside in. You panic and call the bank helpline number only to be put on hold, during which time you have racked your brains about where you used the debit card last.
Sound familiar? This is what happens during an ATM fraud.
According to RBI data, Maharashtra reported 233 cases of ATM fraud in 2018-2019, the highest in the country. The data further revealed that Delhi grabbed the second spot with 179 cases, followed by Tamil Nadu’s 147 cases.
So what should you do in such a scenario?
Before we look at the legal recourse, let us understand the steps that must be taken immediately after your money has been withdrawn from an ATM without your consent:
- When you open an account, always opt for the SMS service to stay alerted of all transactions.
- First and foremost, contact your bank and block your debit card immediately.
- File a First Information Report (FIR) – once you have blocked your card, lodge an FIR at the nearest police station. This is an important step that must not be missed.
- If you find that the card details have been used for an online transaction, then run a good anti-virus software and do not store your passwords in any computer/device that can be accessed by others.
- Also ensure that you change the PIN and other security details of your card periodically.
Reserve Bank of India’s standpoint
To protect the rights of the customers, the RBI vide a notification dated July 6, 2017, revised the norms to limit the liabilities of a fraud victim.
If you are the victim of a fraudulent online transaction, report the same to the concerned bank within three days without fail.
Once done, the amount will be credited into your account within 10 working days.
There are various kinds of liabilities and customers must be aware of them all.
Zero Liability of customer
If the fraud takes place because of the bank’s negligence, then the customer is obviously not liable. These may occur when there is some technical glitch at the bank’s end and the details of the customers are compromised in some way.
This will also apply to cases where there is a third party breach, meaning that the deficiency lies neither with the bank nor the customer but somewhere within the system. In such cases, the customer must mandatorily inform the bank within three days of the occurrence of a breach.
Limited Liability of customer
If the loss has arisen due to the negligence of the customer, then the loss will be borne by the customer.
However, once the customer intimates the bank of the fraud and the fraud continues even after that, then it is the liability of the bank.
In case of fraud or an unauthorised transaction, remember that the burden of proving customer liability lies on the bank–meaning that the bank will have to prove that there was negligence on your part, and you are innocent until proven guilty.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)