President takes notice of increasing incidents of online bank fraud, scams

ISLAMABAD:President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday took serious notice of the rising trend of online banking frauds where fraudsters obtain the contact details of bank clients and impersonate bank officials to obtain account and banking information from them, and using such details swindle money out of their bank accounts.

While expressing concern 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 of Pakistan 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’s Secretariat, under the direction of the President, 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.