Credit card fraud is mounting with the central bank Reserve Bank of India making rules tough even to complain against the erring banks and now a local court in Lucknow has come to the rescue of a hapless customer who could not fight the fraud through the bank or the police.
In a directive, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, Sunil Kumar asked the police to lodge an FIR against ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and ICICI Card Operations head Vinay Valse over the allegations of cheating and fraud over unauthorized online shopping through ICICI credit card.
The complainant, Imran Ahmed, said he had received three SMS messages between 9.53 PM and 10.01 PM on May 28 in his mobile phone about fraudulent transactions made in Turkey over online shopping. The fourth one said that shopping worth Rs. 79,000 has been done using his credit card.
Ahmed said he contacted bank officials but they were not helpful to immediately stop payments on the card and refused to reverse the payments. Even when he knocked at the doors of the police station, the response was not quick enough to stop the fraud. Hence, he said he moved the court against ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar and also Valse.
The CJM of Lucknow directed the SHO of Hazratganj police station to lodge an FIR and investigate the matter. Once proved, the bank has to return the money but the solution lies in RBI, which should tighten the rules of online payments as many banks issue credit cards without informing the customers that they should opt for only India-based online payments and that they should visit their account online and remove the option to use the card for international payments.
Currently, if any credit card holder comes across fraud on his card or payments, he should contact the bank over phone that hardly materializes and then inform them to block the card, which means the entire card is useless and he has to apply fresh again.
Secondly, if anybody has to give a complaint to the regulator RBI, he or she should wait for a month after his initial complaint to the bank, and then make a formal complaint to the RBI which never materializes as you cannot often fill in all the columns with full information.
Thirdly, the RBI and the bank will take at least months to settle the matter and after that one has to move the court. The labyrinthine process makes many to ignore small frauds and let the system grow more lethargic to implement corrective measures. Instead of addressing the fraud, Indian banks seek the RBI to do away with the compulsory two-tier authentication of online shopping in India.