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RBI guidelines to stop ATM fraud

Jorhat, Dec. 19: Jolted by the spate of fraudulent withdrawal of money, the RBI has directed all banks, including private ones in the Northeast, to launch an awareness drive to educate customers about the dos and don’ts of using new-age services such as net-banking and ATM cards.

According to a senior bank official, the RBI standing guidelines will be splashed prominently in all three languages — Assamese, Hindi and English — at all ATM counters and branches.

The SBI is also contemplating deploying security guards at all its ATMs in the region, particularly in Upper Assam.

Of the five incidents, two has been solved with the arrest of a student of Assam Agricultural University on Saturday and another person in Gwalior about 10 days back.

There had been few incidents of elderly people being duped by cheaters when they had approached unknown people for help to withdraw their cash. The manager of a district lead bank of Jorhat and Golaghat districts, Manoranjan Deka, told The Telegraph that there have been five incidents of fraudulent withdrawal of money (over Rs 1 lakh).

It was detected that the transaction was done through net-banking by using ATM card numbers and PIN numbers of bank customers in Jorhat district in the past two months.

The RBI has directed all banks in the region to carry out a massive awareness campaign about the RBI guidelines for the benefit of customers and to prevent such occurrences.

In each district, a nationalised bank is declared a lead bank by the RBI to liase with the government on behalf of all the banks to discuss affairs and problems faced by the banks.

Deka said the RBI leaflets having the guidelines would be arriving from its Guwahati office within a day or two and the copies would be distributed in three languages to all banks in the region and to be put up on all ATM outlets and bank office premises.

He said according to the guidelines, the most important tip was to protect the confidentiality of the customer’s ATM card number and the password.

Only one person should enter the ATM outlet for a transaction. Second important point among the dos for the customers, was that they were not to carry the ATM card in their hand while in a queue.

Another step to be taken by the customers was to change the PIN numbers of the ATM cards from time to time to maintain the secrecy of the number. Deka said in the last quarterly meeting of the district consultative committee of the banks held in Jorhat last week, an RBI official, N.K.Tripathi, attended the meeting from its Guwahati office where senior police and district administration officials were also present.

Tripathi said all banks in the Northeast region would launch a massive customer awareness drive about the RBI guidelines.

The SBI assistant general manager of Jorhat regional office, S.C. Sen, said he would be requesting the Guwahati SBI zonal office to appoint security guards to be deployed at the ATM outlets in Upper Assam.

The security guards are to guide the customers in adhering to the RBI instructions and to keep a vigil on the customers among whom criminal elements might be present.

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