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SBI Credit Cards-Caveat Emptor


wealthymattersThe following is Dhriti Mitra’s story in her own words:

I got a SBI credit card issued for the first time (due to the promotional calls done by SBI for getting a credit card issued at no charge).

I had applied for a SBI credit Card in the month of March 2018 and received the SBI credit card in the month of April 2018. I happen to receive messages from VK-SBICRD that they are unable to issue a credit card due to internal policy. Eventually I got the same message even after receiving the credit
card (last message received on 30th June 2018, 8:14am)wealthymatters

I used the new SBI credit card in the month of April in Mumbai for a small purchase in a garment
shop (last week of April) and no other purchase were done after that.

I received a call from a number (9667952235, Neha Sharma who stated her employee ID was SBINS00341830) stating she was calling from SBI Gurgaon on 6th May 2018 stating the new SBI credit card given to me hold YESBANK vouchers which need to be activated for redemption. She knew my Card number, Expiry date as well as the CVV no. The stake made was for Rs 10000 worth vouchers which could be used at certain outlets as mentioned. She initiated a transaction of Rs 5000 and considering she had all my card details asked for the OTP for “activating the voucher on her system. I happen to fall in the trap and gave away the OTP. The same was done for the next Rs 2000. The SBI then messaged me for exceeding the credit card limit (Rs 10000 a month) which made me question the call. But unfortunately the two transaction OTP was already given away.wealthymatters

I messaged my home branch manager(Ms Richa Rana, SBI Nilambar Circle, Vasna road, Vadodara, Gujarat) for the same and asked for her knowledge or advice.

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She replied the next day as she was on leave. She guided me to visit the main branch and meet Mr Krunal (credit card division, SBI Mandavi, Vadodara). I immediately got my credit card blocked on 8th May 2018 before12pm (done by Mr Krunal). As per the online status of the transaction Mr Krunal said that the initiation was not yet processed and he raised two separate disputes for the two fraud transactions.I received a message on 8th May 2018 for both the dispute raised. I happened to again get a message on 18th May 2018 saying the dispute has been initiated with service request no 133362297268 (forRs 2000) and request no 133362297767 (for Rs 5000). 

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On 20th May 2018, I received two messages stating the disputes with the above request numbers could not be processed in my favour. wealthymatters

I immediately raised another dispute the same day on the SBI toll-free but did not receive any message with new request number. They asked me to write a mail for the same to reportphishing@sbi.co.in. I mailed the issue to the stated email address on 23rd May 2018 but there was no response whatsoever.

On 25th May 2018 I receive a message stating my credit card statement has been dispatched with Total amount due as Rs 11269 and Min amount payable is Rs 1918. 

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There was no response from SBI bank until mid June when they started calling for clearance of
outstanding every second day. I was out of station from 2nd June 2018 till 15th June 2018 during
which there were no messages or transaction authorisations done.

I had again contacted the toll-free and received no concrete response for the disputes instead they
only asked for payment. Hence I decided to then lodge a police complaint.

I got another call on 19th June 2018 from SBI for payment and I denied clearing as I had not received any revert from the “reportphishing@sbi.co.in” ID nor from the second dispute raised. Immediately after that I received a message at 10:55 stating total amount due to be paid is Rs 648.95 (I do not know the basis of the fluctuating ‘due amount’ which were being messaged by SBI).

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I went to the Crime Branch (Cyber Crime) in Vadodara on 19th June 2018 and lodged a complaint. A Constable took the complaint and the acknowledgement was done by PSO.

The copy of Police complaint was submitted to Mr Krunal on 20th May 2018.

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Meanwhile there was an auto-debit of Rs 1918/- on 18th June 2018, in the name of Credit Card Payment (unauthorised payment taken by SBI without account holder’s permission)- noticed while checking statement of my account on 17th July 2018, there was no message update of the debit done by SBI without my permission. wealthymatters

I received another message on 25th June 2018 stating the total amount due is Rs 10999 and Min
amount due is Rs 1659. The same message was again received on 11th July 2018. There was a second payment taken without account holder’s authorization, auto-debit of Rs 1659/- on 17th July 2018 inthe name of Credit Card payment. 

 wealthymatters

Payments taken without authorisation are a fraud as well! How did SBI deduct payment without the account holder’s permission? I am not an account holder who is a defaulter; I have multiple accounts and investments with SBI. Such incident has totally made me question whether SBI is a safe bank for my money!

I need an answer for the series of fraud which has happened. I am sure there are many who are
facing this but the whole system is least bothered to tighten up their process to safeguard the public property/asset/money.

 

Now,this is the first time I’ve heard of a phisher claiming that they had vouchers from another bank,but its always live a little,learn a little.The last time a phisher called me a week back,he omitted to mention which bank’s card he was calling me in respect of.When I asked him which card he was calling me in respect of,he quickly asked me which all banks cards I had ?At which point I hung up.And these days I get phishing calls almost every week.

Dhriti was unsophisticated enough to reveal an OTP. After all that would be available only to the person in possession of the SIM corresponding to the mobile number mapped to the card account.And to that extent she was at fault.In her place I’d have been reaching for the bank’s troll free helpline ASAP and either blocking my card or getting my card blocked.I’m not sure that SBI offers the self-service option of blocking cards on its helpline.Also I’m not sure that they have an app like some other banks that allows you to turn on and turn off cards.The purpose of the rush would have been to ensure that no more charges could be made on it.My bank has a default telebanking officer option,and I would have used it,day or night,to dispute the charges along with blocking my card.Not sure if SBI really has such option on offer.Also to strengthen my case,I’d have approached the police sooner,not waited for the bank to fail at disputing the charges with the card issuing company.All told its regrettable that Dhriti trusted her bank too much to look after her interests.Alas these days SBI works only in its self interest and that the NPAwale it chooses to court.

Let’s hope the supervisory mechanism in our country ensures that SBI gets its systems and processes sorted out ASAP rather than expect the Dhritis of the country to run from pillar to post and approach the Consumer Courts and Banking Ombudsman to seek justice.

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About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

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