GUWAHATI, Aug 13 - A Guwahati-based senior citizen had to part ways with his hard-earned money after unidentified fraudsters managed to withdraw Rs 3 lakh, using a ‘duplicate’ ATM card, raising, yet again, a serious question mark on the efficacy of the banking system.
Anjan Kumar Das, a retired official of the Gauhati University, is now running from pillar to post to recover the money debited from his joint account with the State Bank of India, which boasts of being the largest banking network in the country.
Not just once or twice, the fraudsters made 15 unauthorised transactions of Rs 20,000 each, amounting to a total of Rs 3 lakh, between March 5 and 7 somewhere in Jharkhand. The account was jointly run by Das and his wife.
Das had misplaced his SBI platinum card in 2016 after which he had reportedly informed the bank and the card was blocked. Subsequently, he was issued a new card.
“When we informed the bank officials about the unauthorised withdrawals, they tried to shift the blame on us instead. Since we had no documental evidence to prove that I did inform the bank after misplacing the card in 2016, the bank officials turned a deaf ear to our complaint. Some of the bank officials even refused to meet us. The RBI too rejected our case on the same ground,” said Das, adding that a complaint was also lodged with the police.
“We were dejected by the way the SBI officials responded to our complaint. I have been a customer of the SBI for the last two decades. Unfortunately, all our grievances had fallen on deaf ears. However, after months of looking for the card, we found the ATM card that was apparently ‘used’ to withdraw money, in our house itself. There has to be some accountability on the part of the banks. I want my money back,” informed Das.
“Now the question that we want to ask the bank officials is, how can somebody withdraw money from Jharkhand when the ATM card was in our house all this while. How could a card that wasn’t in use for the past three years be somehow used to withdraw money?” Das wondered. The police too owe an explanation since no headway has been made. Since all the ATMs are equipped with CCTV cameras, what has been the progress in the case?
A senior SBI official, when contacted, said that standard operational procedure was followed by the bank but now that the ATM card has been found, the claim has been re-submitted to the appropriate authorities.