President Dr Arif Alvi has taken serious notice of the rising trend of online banking frauds where fraudsters obtained contact details of banks’ clients by impersonating bank officials to get account and banking information and then used these details to swindle money out of clients’ accounts.

In a press release released on Saturday, the President directed the Banking Mohtasib of Pakistan (BMP) to take serious notice of this worrisome trend and implement meaningful, effective measures, such as appropriate checks and balances and foolproof security systems that could distinguish between genuine and fraudulent transactions, to curb this threat urgently.

A renowned novelist and playwright, Mirza Athar Baig, had his bank account robbed of Rs1.1 million by an online fraudster, according to news reports. The president’s secretariat has asked Baig to lodge a complaint and formally raise the issue with BMP to get relief from the bank.

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Under the president’s direction, the president’s secretariat has advised Mirza Athar Baig to file a complaint and formally raise the issue with the BMP in case the bank is unable to fix his problem and reimburse him within the allotted time limit.

Even though he had resolved hundreds of such cases through the BMP and given comfort to those who had been affected by internet frauds, the president expressed disappointment that fraudulent activities and practises were growing in the banking sector.

Additionally, he underlined the importance of bringing about structured and methodical improvements in online banking systems by swiftly detecting fraudsters and enforcing severe, exemplary sanctions against them.