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Beware of bank transfers!

by | Jun 3, 2019 | Personal Finance, Teachings

In this day and age of doing everything on the internet, we regularly transfer and receive money via electronic means.

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A deal that I concluded recently was an eye opener.

The buyer insisted that he wanted the registration to be done on the day he made the payment. In this case, issuing a cheque was not an option as it takes 3 – 4 days to clear. The only solution was for him to give a demand draft or transfer the money electronically via RTGS. The buyer wanted to go in for RTGS. I have got RTGS transfer done many times in the past, so did not give it a second thought.

I was a bit surprised that the seller was reluctant. He told me a story. He was working in the UK and it seems they got a call from China. The guy wanted to transfer UK 10,000 and wanted these people to make some payments locally. These guys agreed and settled on a commission for the job. In came the money and these guys made the payments. At the end of the day, they did not make one payment of around 4000 Pounds as they thought it was suspicious. It was agreed to return this amount after deduction of the commission for the job done. All went well.

After a couple of days, they got a message from the bank that their account was overdrawn. That was strange. They had a line of credit of nearly 10,000 and they had not dipped into it. Then the bank explained to them that they had transferred the 4000 pounds to China and the next day the 10,000 pounds that were received was also called back. It seems, when someone sends money electronically to your account, they can call it back within two days! They lost nearly 10,000 pounds in the bargain.

“That must be in the UK, it is not possible in India”, I told him. He asked me to wait till he had a word with his banker.

It seems it is possible here too! All electronic transfers can be pulled back by 4pm on the same day! That means, if the transfer was done in the morning and on that basis, we went and registered the flat in the early afternoon, the money could have been pulled back by 4 pm on that day.

In this case, we did the electronic transfer the previous day and the registration on the next.

If you are transferring something on the basis of an inward transfer of funds electronically, then it would be prudent to get the funds one day earlier. Another method would be to transfer the funds immediately to another account.

I have also heard of eBay scams – where you sell something on ebay or a similar website and the buyer calls you up and negotiates the price. Then calls you back and says ‘I’m sorry, the price was Rs.800, but I transferred Rs.1800 by mistake, please send the extra Rs.1000 back’. If you do it immediately, the buyer can pull back the 1800 that he had actually sent and you lose the 1000. So, if something like this happens, withdraw the money out from that account and wait till the next day at least to make any refunds.

Niranjan Bangera


  1. Bhanu misra

    Yes, find the articles useful

  2. Auldius Pais

    This is definitely an eye opener. I did not know about this. I will also check with my bank.

  3. Satish Ghogre

    Useful information


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Written By: niranjan

Financially Stupid Niranjan


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