Credit Card Fraud
Mine is a unique case because I've never even applied for a Credit Card. Still a credit card fraud was committed on my name. All I did was fill a request form online on HSBC website, requesting someone from the bank to contact me to talk about the possible credit card options available to me. This was way back in 2006. and I never got a reply and I moved abroad in January 2007.
Meanwhile, the bank apparently issued a card (I had no clue how, without my signature) and somebody received it and made a purchase of Rs. 1500 using it in March 2007.
I never received any statements or messages, either by post or by e-mail and was totally unaware of the situation. In 2010 I got a legal notice to my home address in India demanding a payment of Rs. 75000. We tried contacting this law firm but got no response. In September 2011 we started getting harassing calls from this law firm/ recovering agency. Inspite of several escalations to the bank, there was no satisfying response. They couldn't produce either the application form or the merchant copy of the purchase transaction. Instead, they asked us to go physically to one of the branches and lodge a complaint, which we couldn't do because we reside outside India now.
We did the big mistake of leaving it at that, with the confidence that their case is very weak.
But it has bit us badly when we applied for a home loan in SBI,India earlier this year as this particular fake transaction has badly affected my credit score. The manager at SBI told us to get a clearance from HSBC, or otherwise that no bank is going to grant us a home loan.
We have tried reasoning with officials at HSBC but there is no satisfactory reply. They said that their preliminary investigation has proved that the card was indeed used by me. We tried lodging a complaint with CIBIL, but they declared its outside their purview and we have to deal with the bank itself. We are in no position to buy the house without a home loan and need to get it resolved as soon as possible.
Which court do I approach for such fraud? Consumer Court or civil court? and in which jurisdiction? Do we need to be physically present for the hearings? How do NRIs generally move a court in India with regards to cases of fraud at home? Please advise me.
4 Answers from Attorneys
you may approach the consumer court.
Dear Sir / Madam,
A fraud or a case of cheating is first reported to the Police and an First Information Report (FIR) is lodged at the Police station where the particular branch of HSBC Bank with whom you were interacting is located, for the Police to conduct an independent investigation in the matter. Court comes in the picture later on, if and only if, it remains unresolved by the Police. And it is always better that both the Police investigation and the Court hearings go on at par, to expedite settlement of the issue. So you should lodge an FIR and then proceed.
File a Criminal Complaint against Bank Officials and then also file a Consumer Case.
For Further Assistance you may contact on 08750228171.
Thanks & Regards
You need to approach District Court seeking a declaration that the Card was not issued to you and that you have no liability.