Emails being sent asking one to deposit processing fee, transaction fee or payment under any other head

Beware of any mail purportedly from ‘Reserve Bank of India' asking you to deposit processing fee or transaction fee or payment under any other head! Seemingly innocuous, the mail could be an initiation into the defrauding spree that will relieve its victims of lakhs of rupees before he or she realises it, warns the Reserve Bank of India -- the real one!

After receiving a number of complaints about the online offence which resembles the much publicised Nigerian fraud, the apex bank has taken it upon itself to launch a campaign to alert the gullible customers.

Mobile phones and SMSes are also being used to trap customers, inform the officials. Impersonating as senior officials of RBI, the fraudsters seek money under different heads which may include tax clearance charges, conversion charges or clearing fee too. Once the victim falls for it and deposits the initial amount, it will be immediately withdrawn and fresh demand will be placed for higher amount under another head.

Some other times, people are enticed with bigger amounts supposedly held in the accounts of individuals, or companies or trusts which would be disbursed only when the required sum is deposited.

The fraudsters copy and use the name and logo of the RBI to such perfection that even highly educated people are becoming easy victims to it. What's more, even certificates are issued with impersonated signatures and stamping of RBI's top officials. There have also been attempts to contact the victims, circulate fake mail ids and also to duplicate the RBI website.

Two duped

“A retired teacher and a professor were among people who were duped into depositing Rs.3 lakh each. They approached RBI, but unfortunately we are not vested with any investigative powers. We can only bring such instances to the notice of the CBI,” said M. C. Prasad, Assistant Manager (Financial Literacy Cell) of RBI, on the sidelines of the Second Urban Financial Inclusion Programme held here on Monday.

Caution

He further said that most of the perpetrators are either foreigners or from outside the country. RBI categorically states that it does not maintain accounts in the name of individuals, companies or trusts, nor does it issue certificates or receipts confirming the veracity of such accounts.

A press communiqué from the office of the DGP further asked people to exercise caution in sharing their email account passwords and bank account details with anybody, as it carries the risk of them being used for the swindling operations. Also, just delete any communication that seeks you to deposit money in any account, it cautioned.

Keywords: Online fraudRBI

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