Banking News

upi fraud: Bank must refund money to customer for reported online fraud: Court

The Navsari Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRC) in Surat has ordered the State Bank of India (SBI) to compensate a victim of UPI cyber fraud with a sum of Rs 39,578. As per a TOI report, the commission criticized the bank for its lack of prompt action and stated that it was the bank’s responsibility to promptly alert customers in such cases.

The victim, Vidhi Suhagiya, lost Rs 59,078 from her account in the SBI’s Fuvara branch on December 22, 2021, due to cyber fraud. She immediately reported the incident to the bank and lodged a complaint with the cyber crime helpline. Police managed to freeze Rs 19,500 that was deposited in a Federal Bank account, which was later transferred back to Suhagiya’s account following a court order. However, the bank failed to take prompt action to recover the remaining Rs 39,578, leading Suhagiya to send a legal notice to SBI on December 14, 2022. As there was no response from the bank, she approached the consumer commission for help.

Suhagiya’s advocate argued that the bank did not take any action to retrieve the money, even though it was aware that it had been transferred to an ICICI Bank account. The bank, on the other hand, claimed that the fraud occurred due to the customer’s carelessness and that it had acted in accordance with banking guidelines.

The bank also stated that it had contacted the UPI authority, who confirmed that the money was deposited in ICICI Bank and took measures to freeze the amount. However, the CDRC rejected the bank’s argument, noting that the complainant had promptly informed the bank about the fraud, but there was no evidence to suggest that the bank had taken any action.

The commission emphasized that banks have access to online details about the accounts where the money has been deposited and can inform other banks to stop payment or freeze the amount. In this case, the bank’s failure to do so resulted in financial loss for the complainant. The CDRC concluded that the bank’s lack of prompt action and negligence in service were responsible for the financial loss suffered by the customer.

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