Alvi takes notice of increasing incidents of online bank fraud

42

Fiction writer Mirza Athar Baig deprived of Rs1.1m

Zubair Qureshi

President Dr Arif Alvi has taken serious notice of the rising trend of online banking incidents wherein a fraudster obtains the contact details of bank clients and impersonates bank official to obtain account and banking information from them, and using such details swindles money out of their bank accounts.

While expressing concerns over the news reports about an online bank fraud wherein renowned novelist and playwright, Mirza Athar Baig, was deprived of Rs 1.1 million from his bank account by an online fraudster, the president said that it was upsetting that fraudulent activities and practices were on the rise in the banking sector despite the fact that hundreds of such fraud cases had been decided by the President through the Banking Mohtasib of Pakistan (BMP) and relief had been provided to the affectees of online frauds.

The president directed the Banking Mohtasib to take serious and strong notice of this worrisome trend and take substantive, meaningful, and effective steps to put in place appropriate checks and balances and foolproof security systems by using technology capable of differentiating between genuine and fraudulent transaction attempts to curb this menace on an urgent basis.

He also stressed the need to bring about structured and systematic improvements in online banking mechanisms to immediately identify fraudulent persons and take strong exemplary punitive actions against them.

The president emphasized that all the banks should collectively launch an awareness campaign through all forms of media, conventional and digital, to educate bank customers about the secure use of online banking platforms, besides ensuring compliance with the State Bank of Pakistan’s directions and prescribed SOPs regarding the use of online banking facilities with ease, comfort, and security.

The president secretariat has asked Mirza Athar Baig to lodge a complaint and formally raise the matter with the BMP to get relief if the bank was unable to resolve his issue and compensate him within the stipulated time period.