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Fell prey to financial fraud? Don’t panic! Here’s what to do

As India steadily adopts digital, the need to educate internet users on how to safeguard their interests while using the internet has become more pressing than ever. Digital payments and transactions continue to make our lives easier. The majority of India, including small-scale vendors as well as rural customers, are also getting increasingly well-versed in the concept of digital payments. This acceleration in digital adoption was kickstarted, to a large extent owing to demonetization first, followed by the pandemic. Yet this rise has not come without its own considerations.

It has made millions of Indians susceptible to diverse types of financial fraud. If you have just been financially scammed, the first thing to remember is that going into full-blown panic will not help you get your money back. What might help is acting quickly and taking the right steps? At this point, your battle to get some or all of your money back will begin. Here’s how to go about it in the most adept ways! 

Be vigilant with communications

As financial scams continue to become rampant in India, the RBI is actively taking measures to protect the interests of consumers. Financial institutions are now mandated to notify you of every debit or credit that goes on in your account. The nature of the transaction includes everything from UPI payments to card transactions or ATM withdrawals.

These communications are typically sent to your registered number and come with a link to report, in case the transaction has not been done by you. Make it a habit to never ignore your bank’s messages so that you can report an unauthorized transaction as soon as you spot one. This is particularly useful since the onus to prove that you have been a victim of financial fraud no longer rests on you if you report the same within three days, according to the RBI. 

Reach out for help immediately 

As soon as you notice a transaction that is a financial theft, call the helpline number at 155260 to report the same. This is a number you can trust with the details of the finance scam as it has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the RBI as an emergency line with all major public and private banks operating under its aegis. It is also a line that is applicable for online wallets such as Paytm, and AmazonPay, among others. Call the helpline to register your complaint and ensure that a ticket is issued and corresponded with your bank.

Look out for an SMS notifying you of the fact that your complaint has been successfully registered as well as a complaint number or ID that you will subsequently have to submit to the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal within 24 hours of acknowledgment. 

Know your options and your last resort

When trying to win your money back after being financially scammed, you may end up finding your bank being of little help. It’s simply the legacy way in which banks operate. In case you have reached an impasse with your bank, you can still avail of the Financial Ombudsman Service as your last plea for help! This is a service where you can take your appeal directly to the RBI and it still remains a free service for Indians.

However, you have to be patient during the process as it may take months for your case to be resolved or even heard. It’s still worth the effort because increasingly, victims of financial fraud are finding considerable success with this service with the end result going in their favor. 

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