14 April 2020

Cutting Chai or Cyber Crime anyone?

There is no escape from technology. Like it or not, we are all being dragged into the digital era - some joyously and some kicking and screaming. 

Darshak is a young man, who even pays his chaiwalla with his digital wallet. Just like in the ads. One February in Sunday, that act of paying digitally literally scalded his throat. He was in a class for Financial Modelling, when he got two text messages. One saying his bank account had been debited by Rs 4523/- and a few minutes later, debited a second time with an amount of Rs. 10000/-.

Since he was in class, his phone was on silent and he only saw the messages about half an hour later, in his chai break - and then had a mini heart attack! His bank account was wiped clean. His debit and credit cards were with him. It was a Sunday.... what was going on?

Most of us know or can guess what happened. Somehow, a fraudster had managed to get his bank details and swiped out all the money from his savings account!

Lots of tips for those who ever have the misfortune of having to deal with this.
  • Call your bank and block your cards to prevent any further misuse. (make sure you have that number on speed dial)
  • You need to go, with an application letter, asking for an FIR stating all the details of the transactions, including your bank details. A "presence certificate/letter"   would be very useful, if someone can vouch for where you were at the time of the fraud. The presence letter should state who you were with when the transaction took place. In these days of lockdown, not sure how you will be able to go!
  • The inspector will ask you a bunch of questions and when satisfied, stamp your application letter. Carry copies of all paperwork and ask the police station to stamp all of them
  • The police dispatch department will take the original, stamp a photocopy and then send the original to your bank.
  • It doesn't end there. You have to take the photocopies, the presence letter copy, your original PAN card/Aadhaar card and all your debit, credit card, savings account details and go to the nearest bank branch of your bank (where the fraud happened)- NOT your home branch.
  • The special banking fraud department will accept the papers and you will get a text message with a complaint registration no. Usually, if a bank plans to return the money, it will be credited to your account in 21-30 days.
So what can we do to minimise our risks:
  • Whenever you use online banking, use the "virtual keyboard" which almost all websites provide. It shuffles the characters, making it quite hard for fraudsters to steal your pin or password. (It's quite a pain to use, but keep reminding yourself it's worse to lose the money). Make sure the site address always shows https - the 's' is crucial
  •  Don't leave too much money in your savings account. Best to park  in mutual funds like liquid and overnight funds - access within 24 hours and a slightly higher return. Fraudsters still haven't figured out to go after these, thank goodness.  
  • If you make payments on debit/credit cards online, try not to save the details on any website. As we know, this data has been stolen from so many well-known sites. Also, have two credit cards - one with very low limits, which you use online.
  • Avoid using debit cards online. 
  • The Govt has encouraged us to use digital wallets like PayTM, Google Pay, RuPay and a host of others. Some, not all, ask for your bank details - account number, etc. Avoid using these.  Especially avoid giving your CVV number ( those 3 little numbers on the back of your credit card) to anyone.
  • Re-load using net banking, where you don't have to give all this information. And use the virtual keyboard.
  • Many of us have our banks' mobile apps loaded on our phones. Dicey - best use your laptop or computer for transactions.
You could also watch JamTara on Netflix to figure out more ways that we get taken for a ride!
In the meantime, Darshak is holding his breath, wondering if he will ever get his money back! Something tells me that he will not pay his chai-walla with his digital wallet in the near future!

11 April 2018

Your Silver Lined Cheque Book

Thank you to all very informed women of the Prism group for inviting me to speak on 6th April 2018 at the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and for the wonderful feedback below. As you can see your lovely gift holds pride of place.

[06/04, 20:39] Suj gave a talk at the maratha chamber of commerce. She had the audience in rapt attention and singing praises. Tara  Vaidya

[06/04, 20:43] Great talk. Difficult things made to sound very simple. Thanks 🙏

[06/04, 21:00] Very eloquent speaker. Handled the q n a session well. Made notes. Going to discuss with dj tmrw

[06/04, 21:57]  Sujata was great of course, snacks were yum, auditorium was freezing! ☺
Sangeeta Shahaney

[06/04, 23:16] 
I loved it, got me thinking, one needs to learn and put some effort into understanding mutual funds etc. the subject is so huge, one has to make a beginning somewhere, Sujatha gave a good overview in very simple and understandable terms, she is a great presenter, it was a pleasure listening to her. A very good program, if there had been more such programs, I would have stayed on as member, thanks for letting me attend.
Poonam Gupta 

[06/04, 23:37] Good evening!
I had to run off because I didn’t want to be late for the Friday family dinner.... 
Thanks so much for inviting me!
I really loved the afternoon.... the presentation you’ve created is informative, humorous and easy to understand. As are you!
Now tell me what exactly I need to do to rope you in for the same thing for WZCC women entrepreneurs?
Mahrukh Bharucha

Thanks for organising yesterday' sprogramme .and getting to talk to us young investment advisor Sujata Kabraji   who understands women' problem and is very knowledgeable.
Thanks Sujata  for very  infirmative talk.
Shobha Deshmukh

Thanks Sujata for giving us basic inputs of finance planning to enable us to plan and enjoy our old age ! 👏🏼
Manju Prasad

Thanks Sujata for giving us basic inputs of finance planning to enable us to plan and enjoy our old age ! 👏🏼

A complex subject like finance explained in very simple and easy to understand terms. Thanks Sujata.
Lata Phatak

Thanks Sujata for explaining it so well
Romi Advani

[09/04, 09:09] 
Sujata’s talk was very well conducted and presented . Just the right amount of simplified explanations on various aspects of finance , investments, and tax implications for non finance people-sr. Citizens to grasp easily . Some information were very helpful for me too.

[09/04, 09:09] My compliments to Sujata for her flawless handling of the powerpoint presentation 
So well simplified.
I would surely love to interact with here whenever she visits Pune next.
 aruna advani

Thanks for organising  excellent  lecture  for us I would like Sujata to take more workshop for Prism  members so we understand  the investment  cycle properly.Thanks once again 
neelam bansal

I liked  the advice on will preparation
And safe guards on insurance policy realisation.
Other tips to save money was useful.
On the whole a well organised  program 
Rathna Narayanswamy

[09/04, 11:28] 
 The talk was very good and informative. Some members said that we should have more such talks .
Veena agarwal

Thank you PRISM for organising the talk by Sujata Kabraji. The program lived up to its promises made in your invite: paranoid about numbers? Make your savings account work for you, insurance and pension plans etc.
Sujata’s presentation, with her humour and appropriate illustrations, personal experiences and anecdotes was able to build a rapport with us. Her patient and honest responses to the many questions raised were encouraging.
An informative talk. I would certainly like another more detailed session with her and from the comments overheard after the talk, most of the group felt the same.
Mira Bhojwani

17 March 2018

RBI Bond @ 7.75% anyone? 10 Things you should know!

Image result for reserve bank of india logo

The Reserve Bank of India offers bonds with a taxable rate of interest of 7.75% p.a. But before investing, its always good to know as much as possible about the product. Some of the key bits of information are below:

  1. No maximum limit for investment in the RBI 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds.  Each bond will be issued for a minimum amount of Rs.1,000 (which will be the face value) and in multiples thereof. 
  2. These Bonds are open to investment by individuals and Hindu Undivided Families. NRIs are not eligible for making investments in these bonds. 
  3. You can choose between the cumulative and non-cumulative modes for payment of interest In the cumulative option, interest is paid only when the bonds mature. In the non-cumulative mode, interest is paid half-yearly - on 1st August and 1st February. Do remember that you can’t change the option in middle from Non-Cumulative to Cumulative and vice versa. So pick carefully at the time of filling the form. 
  4. Just like bank fixed deposits, the interest income earned from these bonds is added to your income and taxed as per your slabsThe bonds will be exempt from wealth tax under the Wealth Tax Act, 1957.  
  5.  The bonds are not transferable but can be transmitted.  They cannot be sold in the secondary market. They are also not eligible as collateral for loans from banking institutions, non-banking financial companies or financial institutions
  6.  They can only be held in physical form by the investor - not demat. 
  7.   The bond tenure is 7 years from the date of issue for investors below age 60. a) Lock in period for investors in the age bracket of 60 - 70 years - 6 years from the date of issue. (b) Lock in period for investors in the age bracket of 70 - 80 years - 5 years from the date of issue.  (c) Lock in period for investors age of 80 years and above - 4 years from the date of issue. 
  8. In case of joint holders or more than two holders of the Bond, the above lock-in period will be applicable even if any one of the holders fulfills the above conditions of eligibility. The effective date of premature encashment for eligible investors will be 1st August and 1st February every year. However, 50% of interest due and payable for the last six months of the holding period will be recovered in such cases, both in respect of Cumulative and Non-cumulative bonds. 
  9. Paperwork required to apply will be the application form, PAN card, Aadhaar card/proof of address and your cheque!
  10.  The biggest plus of these bonds is the safety - it is guaranteed by the Government of India. In addition, the interest rate is higher than FD's in banks currently. However, the downsides are that the interest is taxable. More importantly, if interest rates go up, you will be stuck with a product that is earning you less.

14 March 2018

Breaking the Writer’s Block on Finance for the Network of Women in Media, Mumbai

·       Paranoid about numbers? Do you get cross-eyed when your CA sends you all those forms?

·       Have more than a couple of lakhs lying in your savings account and would like to make it work harder for you?

·       Ever worried about how you would manage in this hire/fire culture?

·       Will medical costs eat into your retirement nest? Hey - do you have a retirement nest at all?

·       Could freelance work be an option? Are salaried people really at advantage? What do you need to think about before you take the plunge?

·       Why on earth do you need to write a will?

These were some of the questions discussed on 24th Feb 2018 with the dynamic women in media.

Let’s Talk Business - Cafe Mutual 2018

Ajith Menon - putting me on the spot about saying 'No' to clients, not having a visiting card and other such crazy questions

Co-Hosting the Network FP National Conference-19th Jan 2018

This was a fun event - total tongue in cheek - gently roasting the speakers - it was a lot of hard work but tons of laughs! The topic was close to my heart too! Ethics at heart, Growth on Mind.

27 November 2017

Ouch! I broke my writing arm!

Have you ever thought about this? If you are single, most likely you operate your bank accounts and investments in your single name.

What if you have a fall and can't sign for a few weeks or months? How would you pay your bills, draw money or access your investments? It's a thought that has haunted me over the last few months whilst I stepped in to help a friend in a similar situation.