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I got cyber scammed, How can I get my lost money back?

lost money

Many people ask me this this question and if you are a victim of of cyber scam where you have lost your hard earned money then this is your most important question. In this post I will try to answer this question. First you need to know whether you can recover the full money from your bank or not as per Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and I will also let you know what process you need to follow in India.
As per RBI’s 2017 notification on this there are three possible situations:

  1. When there is an element of contributory fraud, negligence or deficiency on the part of the bank,  customer will have zero liability. Regardless of whether the fraudulent transaction has been reported by the customer or not.
  2. When the responsibility lies with neither the bank nor the customer, but lies elsewhere in the system, such as a third-party breach, there are three further sub-scenarios laid out
    • If the customer reports within three working days of receiving the communication from the bank regarding the fraudulent transaction,  Customer has to bear zero liability.
    • If the customer reports the fraud within four to seven working days of receiving the communication from their bank about the said transaction. The liability per transaction is capped as per the type of account and varies from 5000 to 25000.
    • Further, if the reporting  delay exceeds seven working days of the communication received from the bank, Customer liability is determined as per the bank’s board approved policy.
  3. In cases where the loss is due to negligence by a customer, such as where he has shared the payment credentials or OTP, the customer will bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorized transaction to the bank. Any loss occurring after the reporting of the unauthorized transaction shall be borne by the bank.
    Another important point is “The burden of proving customer liability in case of unauthorized electronic banking transactions shall lie on the bank.”

What are the steps you can take to recover lost money?

These are some steps to follow that will maximize your chances of getting your money back, in case of unauthorized fraud on your bank account. I have listed them below:

  1. Notify your bank the moment you notice an unauthorized transaction. This is important because your liability caps are determined by this in some cases as noted above.
  2. The bank will in turn notify the insurance company where applicable to limit your liability.
  3. If you can go to the branch where your account was opened (home branch) or to the nearest branch, then you may have much better chances of getting your account secured. Some banks may not have strong call centers or longer wait times.
  4. Additionally, secure all your impacted accounts. If you have the banking app or via internet banking, make sure to update your password, lock your debit card/credit card and/or other compromised elements.
  5. You many also choose to run an antivirus scan on your computer/smart phone if you suspect you may have been a target to any malware or hacking. Remove any recent unknown apps you may have installed on your phone at the behest of a stranger. Factory reset or format your device if you are not sure.
  6. File an online complaint by dialing 1930. You can also fill out a complaint on the portal www.cybercrime.gov.in or nearby police station.
  7. If the transferred amount was successfully debit freezed or blocked, then take lawyer’s help to get a court order to recover the amount.
  8. Retain a copy of all the key evidence, screenshots, account numbers, UPI IDs, phone numbers etc. to help the police successfully track the cyber criminals and use that as evidence during trial.
  9. In the case of UPI fraud, RBI guidelines suggest that you inform the UPI service provider (GPay, PhonePe, Paytm) about the fraudulent transaction immediately.
  10. If the UPI service provider is unresponsive then you can raise a complaint on the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) portal directly at npci.org.in.
  11. If this issue persists for longer than the stipulated 30 days, then approach the Banking Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for digital complaints. You may do this online at the Complaint Management System portal here : https://www.cms.rbi.org.in or you could also send an email to the Banking Ombudsman at crpc@rbi.org.in. You can track your complaint on the same website.
  12. You can also move to consumer court if you have been defrauded on e-commerce or social media platform and recover losses and sometimes additional damages from the e-commerce/social media website/bank for deficiency in service.
  13. Never trust anybody who volunteers to help you in recovery of money and pay them anything, Also never post details of your scam like transaction id, date/time, amount involved or your contact details as criminals may use that to scam you again in the guise of helping you.
  14. If the payment instrument used in the fraud is a credit card, then you can decline that transaction with the respecting issuing bank immediately and after inquiry if you are found right, then your transaction will be reversed.
  15. If your account was frozen wrongly, then take the help of a lawyer to defreeze the account and get your money back, you may have to sign a bond in lieu as guaranty.

To know about the various cybercrimes and precautions one can take and finally what are the legal and other remedies available to the victim at this blog www.cybermithra.in

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