Sunday, December 17, 2017

Urgent: Bank accounts of many people being emptied via ghost withdrawals

Concerned Authorities,
Chairman and MD (HDFC Bank)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Subject: Bank accounts of many people being emptied via ghost withdrawals

I am an account holder at HDFC Bank, hence writing to you.

One friend of mine having a YES Bank account in Dehradun saw her account got emptied one morning 2 months ago via ATM transactions when the card was with her the whole time. And just today I saw a friend in Pune reporting her friend's two bank accounts in two different banks getting emptied in the same way. And she is finding there are many more people being robbed this way. Copying the messages from both my friends:

[A] Dehradun case:
On Oct 9th, an X amount was stolen from my YES BANK salary account, the details of which are here:

I was very upset and hence the partial rant. Anyway, after over 2 months, I received the amount on 11th of December, 2017, and this was after constant follow ups; it was quite stressful but it did pay off in the end. So, instead of sharing steps to follow nI would suggest you read the entire experience to understand the Dos and don'ts.

The turn of events, after filing a complaint:
1. After constant follow up, they realized that some forms had not been filled out so that was done.
2. I filed an FIR since earlier I had only made a complaint.
3. In order to initiate the refund process from New India Insurance, I was made to sign a document which said that the claim settlement has been made. Even though I was very skeptical of it, I did sign because there was no other option. I did on my receiving copy ensured that they write that it hasn't been settled yet.
4. I I followed up constantly (once a week, please don't pick a fight with your POC because that won't help).

Some things to remember:
1. File an First Information Report and not a complaint since you will need a copy of it for the insurance claim.
2. Carry a copy of your debit card, bank statement and ID proof along for filing an FIR.
3. Do not throw away your debit card. It will be destroyed in front of a bank official.
4. Do make sure to get in touch with the bank in order to get another debit card issued. You will have to do all of this by yourself.
5. Your formalities aren't completed unless you have signed some claim forms.
5. Do have patience and not pick a fight because people are more likely to help you then.


[B] Pune case(s)

Bank Fraud High Alert!

Some really disturbing news folks: A friend of mine just found that 50K from one of her accounts from one bank and another 20K from another bank account was withdrawn. She went to Bank and found another gentleman with same complaint. She then went to Police Station and she heard that some 700 or more people have complained of similar withdrawals. The Police are unwilling to file FIRs and Banks refusing to do anything without FIR. This happened today in Pune.

Unfortunately, the withdrawals happened in the night while she was sleeping and she got mobile alerts of five 10K withdrawals..She blocked her account in the morning. Soon she gets a notification from her other Bank account of withdrawal of 20K..She has blocked that account too..

I am naming the banks incase people want to check if they have accounts in these banks..Bank of Baroda and Axis Bank...


In all the cases, it is sickening to see that the first reaction of the police is to REFUSE to acknowledge that there has been a theft, to allege without any proof, to the citizen that they only must have withdrawn the money or been "careless" with their debit cards. Who gave the policemen at the police station the right to be judge, jury and prosecutioner? They should write the complaint as per their job, if it is frivolous it will be dismissed by due process. I have just been contacted by the lady written about above who got robbed of Rs.70k from her two bank accounts. Here is her whatsapp message:

"And the police ..banks..all seem to be enemies of humanity. 2 days one police station to other  to the banks... I would appreciate your support on this if possible".

So to my bank HDFC bank, please let it be clear that from now onwards I am monitoring my and my loved ones' accounts very closely, and should something like this happen with me or anyone I know, I will NOT quietly let this pass.

I got this message from my relative who is a senior bank manager:

"This is the card database that has been hacked. I have just guessed right now, as such cases have happen earlier also, that too with axis bank, many card data was compromised."

It seems that banks have committed severe neglect by not hotlisting and re-issuing ATM/Debit cards that they knew had been hacked.

With this, I earnestly appeal to HDFC bank to PROACTIVELY DISCLOSE if there has been ANY hacking of any of the customers' data, including any of MY data, and if so, to take precautionary measures immediately.

In the case of debit cards, it is a simple process to hot-list all the cards that have possibly been hacked and re-issue fresh debit cards. In any case, once this news gets out, you can expect customers to start doing this themselves. Might as well take advantage of the situation, score a customer-friendliness point over your competition by doing it first. People will move their money to HDFC. Any cost incurred is minuscule compared with one's bank accounts being emptied overnight!

PS: Friends looped in, kindly help take this matter at the right offices.


Nikhil Sheth
HDFC Bank account holder

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