I have heard of it.... but only in bits and pieces and only from the newpapers and televisions, never from someone whom i knew personally.
Recently, i heard about a bank fraud from a person who's very close to me.
Her dilemma started on the 19th of Jan when she was checking her bank acc online to see if she has already received the extra money from her parents for accommodation fee. all that stared back at her from her comp screen was 1 GBP in her bank account. there was supposed to be a large amount of money even before she received anything from her parents. it was already 4.30pm. there was no point going to the bank cos they would be closed by the time she reaches the bank, and there was no point calling them cos it wouldnt help at all.
so, she had to force herself to go to the library to start her essay which was due the next morning. she said she was in the library till 3am, and then got back home n continued editting and finalizing her essay before she finally submitted it at 4.30am. i thought doing the essay could have helped her divert her mind a little bit. but i was wrong. she said she had the bank acc in her mind all the time, that most of d time she was staring at the comp screen without doing anything.
On the 20th morning, she rushed to the bank as soon as she woke up to ask them wat's happening. the senior manager offered to help her and tried to trace down who had removed the balace that she had. my friend was quite relieved when she was told that they had found out that it was one of the banker who had done it. she thought that her money would be recovered soon cos they already found out who did it.
but no, she was wrong. when the senior manager called the guy who did it, he wanted to speak to this girl. he told her that there has been some fraud business happening. there was a certain amount of money that was transferred to her account n then removed to someone else's acc. in the process her own money had gone missing too.
the guy from the fraud department said that they would have to investigate what was happening, and he said that would take 7-10 working days.. could be longer, or could be lesser than that.
my friend had a terrorizing day for the rest of the day. she went on and on thinking about it the whole day. when she told her parents, they were worried and upset that so much money had gone. but later on, they were more worried for her own safety cos they thought the bank might suspect her of being involved. so many things were running back and forth in their minds. but there was nothing they could do. by the end of the day, finally didnt care about the money at all.... though it wasnt a small sum... it didnt matter when they thought of all possible problems that could arise after that.
my friend had to go to the bank almost every alternate days to find out what's happening cos she didnt hear from them at all. she was in the bank so often that the ppl there already knew how to spell her surname by heart. it isnt easy spelling her surname. but there was no point at all. the bank themselves didnt hear anything after that day, and it was next to impossible to get hold of the fraud dept on the phone and opening a new acc was taking longer than the promised 1 day, because the bank had to clarify all her details and personal identification cos of the problematic first account.
when she finally decided to make a police report on the 30th of Jan, she walked to the police station. but they told her to come with the bank statement n a letter from the bank explaining the situation. she had to walk back to the bank again. but the bank refused to give her a letter cos they said they have no rights to do that, and only the fraud department can do it. all she got from the bank was a bank statement. she had to wait another half hour to be able to talk to the ppl from the fraud department to see if they've managed to find out anything about the frauds.
when she finally got the line to speak to the guy whom she thought was handling her case, he told her that he didnt necessarily have to handle her case. his job was to take down details from her n then d actual investigation was passed on to someone else. but he was kind enough to at least trace down her case in the computer and update her.
the update wasnt up to date i would say. he told her that the case has been closed and they didnt find it necessary to get in touch with her or question her further, so they didnt inform her. that kind of a bullshit was that! he told my friend that she was let off the hook and they didnt suspect her of anything, but they couldnt give the money back to her!!
now that the case is closed, he said that she could continue using her account. like hell she will! she wanted to close the first acc immediately, but that wasnt possible cos they had a lot of formalities to complete. even her second acc is taking ages to be opened.
wat kind of a bank is this anyways!!! they're service is so bad, their so-called good fraud team didnt find it necessary to inform the owner of the acc that her momney cannot be returned to her and that the case has been closed, neither the bank nor the fraud team had the courtesy to ask how a foreign student is surviving with no money at all.
ppl say its not save to keep too much cash at home, but now it looks like its not save to keep money even in the bank! then wat on earth r we supposed to do??!!
so, that my dear friends... is the story of an unfortunate girl called Chumi Lakshmi.