Frauds in online banking and ATM transactions for amounts below Rs 1 lakh increased 54% in FY19 from the previous year to over 50,000 cases, the Finance Ministry revealed in response to a question asked in Parliament today. According to data provided by RBI, the total number of fraud monitoring returns (FMR) involving amounts below Rs 1 lakh shot up from 32,732 cases in FY18 to 50,438 cases in FY19 — a 54% increase. The total fraud amount involved was Rs 59.43 crores and Rs 78.04 crore in FY18 and FY19, respectively. According to the reply, banks were not required to report such frauds — involving an amount below Rs 1 lakh — to the RBI before FY18.

The frauds include those in ATM transactions, debit and credit card, and internet banking transactions. As of Q3FY20 (up to December 2019), 50,122 cases of fraud involving Rs 80.89 crores have already been reported to the RBI. The RBI’s master directions on fraud mandate all banks to submit ‘Fraud Monitoring Return’ in all fraud cases, irrespective of the amount involved, within three weeks of the bank having detected the fraud.

This data was requested by five MPs from Shiv Sena and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), all elected from Maharashtra, which has accounted for highest number of fraud cases since FY18. The MPs are Hemant Sriram Patil, Shrikant Eknath Shinde, and Dhairyasheel Sambhajirao Mane from Shiv Sena; and Unmesh Bhaiyyasaheb Patil and Dr Sujay Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil from the BJP. The below states show the highest number of fraud cases involving below Rs 1 lakh:

FY18:

  • Maharashtra: 14,901 cases; Rs 23.9 crore (total cases, amount involved)
  • Haryana: 8,029 cases; Rs 11.11 crore
  • Tamil Nadu: 3,633 cases; Rs 9.5 crore

FY19:

  • Maharashtra: 21,035 cases; Rs 26.73 crore
  • Haryana: 8,688 cases; Rs 12.12 crore
  • Tamil Nadu: 5,283 cases; Rs 13.52 crore

FY20 (As of Q3 – December 2019):

  • Maharashtra: 21,334 cases as of Q3FY20; Rs 27.10 crore
  • New Delhi: 5,290 cases; Rs 10.30 crore
  • Tamil Nadu: 5,106 cases; Rs 11.32 crore

The five MPs also asked the ministry if the government had taken any steps to check cybercrime and hacking of credit card transactions. MoS Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said in the response that the RBI reviews cybersecurity developments and threats on an ongoing basis and takes the necessary mesures to “strengthen the cyber resilience of banks”. “Cyber incidents are analyzed from the point of view of sophistication of attack as well as systemic impact and are categorized as critical, high, medium and low categories,” it added.

It also cited the RBI’s circulars from February 2013 and June 2013 which mandated security measures against online frauds.

Maharashtra also ahead in frauds involving more than Rs 1 lakh

For the same frauds involving amounts of above Rs 1 lakh, India saw a 50% jump in FY18 over the previous fiscal year in cases reported to RBI. FMRs reported to RBI by banks increased from 1,372 cases in FY17 to 2,059 cases in FY18. The total amount involved shot up significantly from Rs 42.29 crore in FY17 to Rs 109.56 crore in FY18 — a nearly 159% increase.

Cases reported in FY19 reduced by 9% to 1,866 cases in FY19, even though the amount fell 35% to Rs 71.38 crore. As of Q3FY20, there have been 1,884 cases of such fraud, involving Rs 147.56 crore. This suggests that even if the number of fraud cases may remain the same over FY19, the amount involved will have increased disproportionately. Even for frauds involving more than Rs 1 lakh, the most number of them took place in Maharashtra for all fiscal years from FY17 to Q3FY20. The below figures show the three states with the most number of cases.

FY17:

  • Maharashtra: 379 cases, Rs 12.10 crore (total cases, amount involved)
  • Haryana: 238 cases, Rs 8.28 crore
  • Karnataka: 221 cases, Rs 9.16 crore

FY18:

  • Maharashtra: 728 cases, Rs 19.54 crore
  • Haryana: 415 cases, Rs 12.94 crore
  • Tamil Nadu: 222 cases, Rs 40.85 crore

Note that the total fraud amount in Tamil Nadu was Rs 40.85 crore in FY18, Tamil Nadu alone accounted for 37% of the total fraud amount — Rs 109.56 crore — in FY18.

FY19:

  • Maharashtra: 638 cases, Rs 15.62 crore
  • Haryana: 295 cases, Rs 9.09 crore
  • Tamil Nadu: 214 cases, Rs 10.54 crore

FY20 (Upto Q3)

  • Maharashtra: 563 cases, Rs 17.89 crore
  • Karnataka: 226 cases, Rs 13.37 crore
  • New Delhi: 209 cases, Rs 5.07 crore

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Download the Finance Ministry’s response here.