It is not entirely uncommon to see people making payments of their home loan,personal loan EMI, credit card,mobile bill payments etc in cash to the collection executive who comes to collect the same at their office or at home. While there is nothing wrong in doing so, one needs to be little more careful and do some mandatory checks before making payments. The reason for this is that there are lot of cases of fraud reported , where the collector collects the money from the customer but never deposits it in the bank. At times, collectors collect the money from 5-10 customers at a time and run away with the money , while there also have been cases where the collection executive after being dismissed or after having quit the organisation, continues to collect the money from his regular customers . Obviously , this money is never deposited by him in the customer's account. These are the malpractices which have crept into a system which is meant for the customer's benefit.
As a prudent person, you can protect yourself from such frauds by keeping in mind following things:-
1. Always check the collector's ID Card- Whenever a collector comes to collect your EMI or bill payments, you must ask him to show you his ID card. This will ensure that you are dealing with a collector only who is authorised to collect on the bank's behalf. This will also eliminate chances of an ex-employee of the bank collecting money from you. Never make any payments to anyone without checking his ID card to your satisfaction.
2. Ask him to show you your account statement - Banks and NBFCs often give the account details mentioning the outstanding amount etc to the collector who is responsible for collecting payment from you. You must always ask him to show you the statement. It will help you find out the exact amount that is due by you to the bank and also will serve as second line of identity check for the agent.
3. Cross check the outstanding amount from the bank call centre - At times, collectors might not carry the account statement with them and use that as an excuse to collect more than what you owe to the bank. Though this is a remote possibility, but this can and does happen to people. As such, it is advised that in such circumstances it is better to cross check the outstanding amount on your loan from the banks helpline or call centre. These are 24X7 call centre and will provide you with the relevant details whenever you ask them for.
4. Always check the receipt properly - In lot of cases of fraud reported, it is generally found that the collectors use duplicate receipts to collect money . These duplicate receipts are then handed over to the customers which have no meaning and value. So, in order to avoid that you must check the receipts properly. Original receipts will be generally of better quality , will have banks logo in it along with the agency's name , will always have to be filled in duplicate( 2 copies , one for the bank and one for the customer) if not triplicate. Bogus receipts generally are not filled in duplicate (as in 2 copies). Also check the agency details as mentioned on the collectors ID card with the address mentioned on the receipt. They should be ideally be the same.
5. Ask for the receipt - This is very basic but most important nonetheless. You must never make any payment to anyone without taking the receipt from him for the same amount. Receipt of the cash paid is the only evidence that you have of having made the necessary payments.
6. Avoid paying foreclosure or prepayment amount to the collector - When you want to close your loan or foreclose it, you must always do so at the bank branch. You must never pay foreclosure amount or prepayment amount etc to an agent or collector . This is because the agents are not allowed to collect foreclosure money or amount from the customers unless the loan is a delinquent one. Even if you are a delinquent customer , you should avoid paying foreclosure amount to a collector. Always do it at the branch. IF at all you want to pay it to a collector , then you must do so only after he gives you a letter in writing from the bank officials (not from the collection agency) stating that on the payment of so and so amount your loan account with us stands closed as on today or something to that effect.
7. Keep the receipt with you -Last but not the least , you must keep the cash payment receipt properly with you. At times , banks might miss out on updating your payment in your account even though the money collected has been duly deposited by the collector. This could result due to various factors. In such cases, you will have to produce the cash paid receipt. Upon producing the receipt, the payment is updated and your account becomes regular.