It was brought to my attention yesterday that an IT professional in Bangalore had ordered a Mac Air Book online and made payments to two individuals having accounts in SBI Aizwal and SBI , IIT Powai branches.
It appears from the records available that at least one of the two accounts used for the fraud has been repeatedly used for such crimes over a period extending at least 4 months. It means that the Bank has been nursing this fraudster’s account as a “Partner in Fraud”.
One of the account also has a PAN card number associated with the account which in the investigation has to be found out whether it is genuine or fake.
The victim has been advised to file a complaint of cheating with the jurisdictional police station and not as a Cyber Crime.
I hope the Police would register the complaint against the Bank and proceed to prevent further frauds occurring through the same accounts.
Despite the collection of PAN number, the accounts being used for commission of fraud and transfer of proceeds abroad represent a “Money Laundering” crime and I hope the Police will follow it to the logical conclusion and provide relief to the Victim.
I am posting this here to warn others not to rely on advertisements appearing in Facebook or Twitter where goods are being offered for sale as a direct import at a price lower than what the Flipkart or Amazon offers on their platforms.
In this case, it appears that the fraudsters had issued some advertisements in the name of a non existent foreign firm offering sale of Mac Air Book and collected money in India. It is not sure now if the money actually went abroad or was used by the fraudsters in India itself. Since they are the account holders of SBI, the Bank would also be liable as a conspirator in the crime.
If the KYC on the account is faulty, I expect the RBI to take notice and impose a heavy penalty on the Bank.
I have earlier recommended that such KYC fines should be used to provide compensation to the fraud victims. I urge that RBI should consider that proposal as a “Fraud Guarantee Scheme”.