Money deducted twice via FASTag at a toll in Mumbai: Scam or error?

Money deducted twice via FASTag at a toll in Mumbai: Scam or error?

05/30/2022

I must be a superhuman or driving a spaceship to cross the same toll in the same direction twice within 5 minutes.

BHPian DrCar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I would like to share my experience of how I got scammed at a toll naka.

Location – Mumbai at Dahisar toll naka

I was travelling from Kandivali to Mira Road to deliver a package.

Everything seems fine when the toll was deducted at 8:39 pm. Notice the difference between toll crossing time and money deducted time.

I was returning and the toll was crossed at around 8.55 with deduction happening at around 9.01.

Fair enough.

I received a surprise when I reached home and checked Paytm notifications.

I must be a superhuman or would be driving a spaceship at ultrasonic speeds to cross the same toll naka in the same direction within 5 minutes of each other. Anyone residing in Mumbai knows that it isn’t possible to cross the same toll even in 20 minutes if one decides to drive in circles around the toll.

One of my knowns was explaining to me about a similar situation at the same toll naka that he got involved into 2 days back. He barged into the toll office nearby and saw that there were four others who were arguing about the similar scam that happened with them and demanded refunds.

They say digitalisation will kill corruption. Now I think that corruption is so deep-rooted that even the computers are learning the tricks.

I have mailed Paytm about it. But don’t expect them to do anything.

Here’s what BHPian mayuresh had to say about the matter:

If it’s any consolation, some of us are super-super humans on whose wallets toll got deducted even without visiting the plaza – mine at the peak of the lockdown when the car had not even moved out for months.

So I do feel the anguish.

But it’s a technology issue rather than a scam. It’s bad either way – just that calling it a scam attributes a motive to human beings, which does not appear to be the case.

Fortunately, there exists a redressal mechanism and more often than not you will get your money back through this. Your first point of contact is your fastag provider and if it’s Paytm (like mine was) it’s a hopeless situation. They will do NOTHING whatsoever on this. An NHAI complaint would usually solve the matter in about a month.

Please don’t think of ignoring it because the amount is small. Only if NHAI sees the volume of such cases growing some systemic change will trigger (that’s a hope, but there is not even hope if people don’t file complaints).

There was a news article shared on some thread before that Pune police had encouraged the filing of cybercrime complaints in such cases. But I think that is unnecessary since NHAI would usually solve this anyway.

Here’s what BHPian jeganatu had to say about the matter:

Long before I got double entry and the amount got deducted twice. I logged into the ICICI fastag and it had some redressal system to report such errors. I got my money credited back to the system in a few days.
Luckily I had noticed 2 SMS of the same toll and I realized I had been debited twice.

The problem here is, that if we don’t notice SMS or email, we may not realize we have been charged twice. This applies to any of our online payments when our first try gets stuck after OTP.

Here’s what BHPian condor had to say about the matter:

Couple of things to do:

Search for similar previous discussions here on TBHP. This isn’t the first time that the double/excess/erroneous deductions have happened. You will get quite a few inputs in the earlier discussions.

Raise a dispute with your Fastag provider.

Here’s what BHPian kosjam had to say about the matter:

A friend of mine works for a Bank Fastag company and I was discussing corruption at Toll Nakas. His opinions were very insightful.

While digitization has led to quite a bit of reduction of corrupt practices, the human brain immediately starts trying to find loopholes which may have been intentional or even unintentional.

In the case mentioned above, there is a provision at the toll booth operator level to capture the RFID and number plate details of the vehicle and withhold the processing, and charge the toll from the driver saying that his fastag is not working, presenting him with a spurious toll receipt and processing the captured data after the vehicle has passed, to pocket the cash paid by the driver.

In the case of the OP, double-dipping is common, as the fastag server sees this double deduction but considers it as a single transaction, due to replication delay error correction built into the software, but the money is deducted twice. Now as earlier posters have commented, if one does not keep track of the deductions, this money is conveniently pocketed by the middleman, i.e. the toll operator.

There are half a dozen more types of frauds that are carried out by such toll booth operators, and in my friend’s experience, frauds are more prevalent in Maharashtra than in any of the adjoining states.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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