Even as India boasts of multi-fold growth in digital payment systems and e-commerce platforms, 42% of the respondents of a national online survey said they or someone in their family have been a victim of financial fraud in the last three years. Bank account fraud, fraud by fly-by-night e-commerce operators, credit and debit card frauds were found to be the major causes of the problem. Only 17% of them said they got the money back.

The survey, carried out by community social media platform LocalCircles, received nearly 32,000 responses from citizens across 301 districts of India.

To the question whether the person or an immediate family member have been a victim of financial fraud in the last 3 year, 38% of the respondents said at least one of them were duped during the period. Another 4% said multiple members known to them have been victims of financial frauds in the past.

To the question on the nature of the financial frauds experienced in the last 3 years, 29% respondents said "bank account fraud", while 24% said "fraud by e-commerce sites", and 21% said "other frauds". Breaking down the poll, 18% said "credit/debit card fraud", 12% said "fraud by mobile apps", 8% said "ATM card fraud", and 6% said "insurance fraud".

When asked whether they were able to get their money back, 10% of the respondents said a complaint with the digital platform itself resolved the issue through money refund. Another 7% said they got the money back after they filed a complaint with the authorities. While the matter was still pending for 36% of the respondents, 19% said they had nowhere to go. The survey reveals that in the last 3 years, only 17% of those who lost their money due to banking frauds were able to get their funds back while 74% could not get any resolution.

Around 43% respondents were from tier 1, 30% from tier 2 and remaining 27% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. Of the total 38% respondents were women.

The suggestions that came on LocalCircles platform was that the government, along with RBI, should organise awareness programmes on the risk of financial frauds, and how theft of financial information takes place and what all needs to be protected. An urgent need to fix the redressal processes when the consumers approach their bank or financial institution was also highlighted.

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