Unauthorised Transaction from Bank Account: Here’s How to Get Your Money Back

हिंदी में पढ़ें
December 14, 2020
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Gone are the days of paper currency, this new era of extreme globalization has seen the economy evolve to a cashless one, where one can carry out any kind of transaction through swiping ATM cards, mobile apps, and online banking. For instance, booking a movie/hotel/ flight ticket, paying for a cab, or even buying a phone or even a house has become extremely simple and convenient.

And since, paying for everything is just a click away every transaction has become riskier as no direct hand to hand transaction takes place resulting in unauthorized transactions.

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The common online financial frauds include:

Sharing your one-time password(OTP)

For a financial transaction, a one-time password (OTP) is required, which you receive on your registered mobile phone. Giving away your OTPs to people on calls or otherwise should always be avoided to decrease the risk of such a fraud. This is a crucial detail. Apart from this, photocopies of your identity proof like PAN card, Aadhar card should also not be shared. Another important aspect is social engineering in frauds which means influencing/ manipulating another person in such a manner to take out information that can be used to steal that person’s money.

ATM cloning

Nowadays, ATM cloning so common that it can be while you are using your ATM card for a transaction at an ATM or even while paying your bills.

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In the present modern age of technology, hacking is the most convenient way of stealing money from someone, all a person needs to do is hack into a device preferably a mobile or a computer and steal private important information of your account.

Identity Theft

Another common fraud is identity theft where an imposter steals important information of another person thereby getting access to his account and spends the money accordingly.

Mobile fraud (smishing)

One type of mobile fraud is smishing (smishing), that uses text messages to fool you into sharing financial and personal information. The scam works when you receive a text message on your cell phone which creates a sense of urgency by telling you that your account has been suspended or locked for some reason by telling “due to unauthorized access, excessive unsuccessful attempts to gain access or other fraudulent activity.”

The message concludes by informing you that you can reactivate or unlock your account by:

  • Calling the phone number provided

  • Linking to the Internet site provided in the text message.

Phishing and fraudulent emails

Phishing is a type of online bluff, using emails sent to unaware users. It steals data such as card numbers, passwords or other personal account information by pretending as a lawful business in an email.

Malware and viruses

Fraudsters are becoming sophisticated in finding alternate ways to gain access to your personal and financial information online without you getting to know it. One of the most cunning methods is through the use of malware (unwanted email) which gets installed without your knowledge on the computer. This can happen when you go to certain websites, download videos or files, etc

Since thousands of people are duped by such fraudsters almost all the time, an immediate need was felt by the government to find a solution and find it sooner than ever. The setting up of a cyber-cell in almost every district of the country is one such initiative where the government now hires ethical hackers to tackle the menace.

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Apart from this, the victim to avoid getting duped must be very careful while using online payment modes and must not disclose their personal information like email address, answers to their security questions, home address, date of birth and must never disclose the one time passwords while buying or selling online with anyone since, the fraudster might even claim to be a bank executive.

Who is responsible when?

In cases where the loss is due to negligence by the customer, such as where he has shared the payment credentials, the customer will bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorized transaction to the bank immediately. Any loss after the reporting of the unauthorized transaction shall be borne by the bank. The bank may, at their discretion, choose to reimburse the loss even though it occurred due to the customer’s negligence. In cases where there is negligence or fraud on the part of the bank, the bank will be fully liable to cover the losses of the customer.

In cases of a third party breach where the deficiency lies neither with the bank nor with the customer but lies elsewhere in the system, and the customer reports the loss within a reasonable time, the bank will be fully liable as well.

However, if you are cheated by a fraudster a victim must not panic but, simply do a couple of things to avoid further loss by getting the card blocked and also, keeping in mind some very simple steps. For instance, you must undertake the following steps if you are a victim of card fraud.

The important things to keep in mind

Step-1: Notify the Bank ASAP

The victim must immediately report the crime to the bank, preferably within 3 working days so that the amount which the bank is liable to pay towards the loss incurred by the victim.

The following table shows the liability that you will have to bear according to the time taken to report the fraud-

Apart from this, the maximum amount that you are liable to pay in case liability is on you depends on the kind of account you hold-

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Maximum liability of a customer in case the customer reports the fraud in 4 to 7 days

Step-2: File a police complaint against the theft

In case the theft was made online, such as someone made an online transaction that led to your account being debited, file a complaint with your nearest Cyber Cell.

In case the theft was made through a physical instrument, such as your ATM card details, file a complaint with your nearest police station.

Apart from this, the government has set up a Helpline Number (8691960000) for registering the complaint. Also, the web-page for the same is

Above all, to avoid/ in case of such online frauds, certain duties of both the customer and the bank are:

Precautionary measures to be taken by the customer/ victim

  1. To keep your personal details, such as account details, PIN numbers, passwords, DOB, home address, security questions etc. secure and do not share them with anyone.

  2. To keep a close track of the transactions that are carried out using your account. Every time you make a transaction, you must be proactive. Moreover, you should immediately report any suspicious activity to the bank.

  3. In case you become a victim of theft, report the details of the transactions to the bank and immediately, file a complaint with the relevant police station as well.

  4. Avoid making your DOB as your pin/ password, it makes it easier for any person to misuse it.

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Precautionary measures to be taken by the Bank

On receipt of the report of a fraud from the customer, banks must take immediate steps to prevent further fraud in the account. To facilitate this, banks are required to provide customers with 24x7 accesses to the bank through multiple channels such as phone banking, SMS, e-mail, IVR etc. Customers should be able to report any suspicious activity to the bank immediately.

The fraud reporting system is also to ensure that an immediate response is sent to the customers acknowledging the complaint along with the registered complaint number.

Banks must resolve the instance of fraud within 90 days from the reporting of the fraud.


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