Online banking fraud in Pakistan is getting worse with time, as 1,244 complaints relating to unauthorized banking transactions were received during the first 10 months of the current year.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) received as many as 1,244 complaints regarding unauthorized transactions made through automated teller machines (ATMs) and Internet Banking Fund Transfers (IBFT) during the 10 months of the current year, the Upper House of the Parliament was told.
The Interior Ministry informed the Senate through a written reply that out of the 1,244 complaints, 524 were turned into regular inquiries and 35 into FIRs while 463 are being verified at the cyber crime wing of the FIA.
The house was further informed that 76 suspects were arrested in connection with these transactions.
The Ministry’s response came on a question asked by PML-N Senator Rana Mahmood-ul-Hassan. The legislator had inquired about the total number of complaints regarding illegal and unauthorized bank transactions made through ATMs or other means since January 1st and details of the persons apprehended in the cases during the period.
In his reply, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi, told that of the 1,244 complaints, 222 were still pending with the FIA’s cyber crime wing.
However, he said, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was the regulatory body for all commercial/national banks as well as international banks in the country with regard to any sort of transactions.
“Therefore, SBP is in a better position to apprise about the measures taken in this regard. Moreover, FIA is an investigation agency and takes legal action on the receipt of complaints from customers of different banks involved in such illegal transactions from their bank accounts,” said the Minister.
Cybersecurity is a major concern among managers of the global financial system. Only last month it was reported by news organizations that data of major Pakistani banks had been stolen.