Is your money safe in banks? UPI transactions cause accounts frozentext_fields
Kochi: Several bank accounts of small traders and vendors in Kerala have been frozen without any prior notice or explanation, causing widespread panic and financial distress. The freezing of accounts is said to have happened on the orders of Gujarat cyber police, who are investigating an unauthorized transaction.
The incident first came to light when Navas, a 52-year-old poultry shop owner, attempted to transfer Rs 25,000 via Google Pay, and the transaction failed. Upon contacting his bank, he was informed that his account had been frozen on orders of the Gujarat cyber police. Several other traders and vendors in the Pathalam suburban region of Kochi have reported similar incidents.
As the news spread, more people across the state began to report the freezing of their bank accounts. The affected individuals are mainly small traders or vendors; whose livelihood savings are in these accounts. The sudden freeze has caused great distress to these people, as they have no idea when the freeze will be lifted or when they will be able to access their own funds.
The Kerala cyber cell has received over a hundred complaints from across the state, with reports of similar incidents coming in from Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Malappuram, and Kozhikode. The bank officials have not provided any explanation or solution to the account holders, leaving them in a state of confusion and financial crisis.
The state government has taken note of the issue and has promised to take the necessary steps to resolve the matter. The Chief Minister's Office has contacted the Gujarat cyber police, seeking an explanation for the sudden freeze of accounts in Kerala. The government has also assured the affected individuals that their funds are safe and that steps are being taken to ensure that their accounts are unfrozen at the earliest.
The incident has raised serious concerns about the safety of personal bank accounts and the need for a transparent system for account freezing. The affected individuals have called for immediate action to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future and to ensure that the innocent are not affected by the actions of cybercriminals.
Several bank accounts in Kerala have been frozen by banks on the direction of cyber police from other states such as Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and Karnataka, due to ongoing investigations of online fraud cases registered on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCCRP).
The move has caused anger and frustration among customers who have been affected, with many saying that they have no connection to the crimes being investigated. Banks have reportedly frozen accounts based on their customer's transaction history, and not because of any direct involvement in financial fraud.
While banks maintain that they are simply following the directions of the police, customers say that they have not been informed about why their accounts have been frozen or provided with a solution to the problem.
Many of the affected customers are small traders or vendors who rely on their savings to support their livelihoods. Some have resorted to mortgaging their assets or taking out loans to continue their businesses.
Cyber law experts have pointed out that while banks cannot question the orders of law enforcement agencies, they have a moral responsibility to inform their customers about the situation. Many customers have complained of finding out about their frozen accounts only during emergencies, such as when they need to pay for hospital bills or fuel.