The RBI has stepped up its awareness drive against conmen who have become increasingly active in trapping unsuspecting individuals to part with details of their bank accounts which are then used to siphon out money. The RBI has set up a helpline (8691960000) to which callers can make a “missed call” to get detailed information on the issue.
The missed call to this helpline number is returned with another call that provides more information on steps to be taken in such cases. It also gives information on how to file a complaint with the cyber cell of the local police and on a specially designed website sachet.rbi.org.in. A senior official told Mail Today that apart from setting up its own helpline for the public, the RBI has asked commercial banks to alert their customers on the issue so that they do not fall into the trap of fraudsters purportedly dangling huge prize money from lotteries etc.
As part of the intensified campaign against rising instances of fraud, the RBI wants any individual receiving an offer of lottery winnings or easy funds from RBI or some government body, to complain immediately on the Sachet website. Some such frauds also promise credit cards directly from RBI as also an ‘allbank balance enquiry’ app. This would enable the authorities to nab the culprit and stamp out the menace.
Typically, such conmen make calls or send text messages and emails to people promising lotteries and prize money from the Reserve Bank, or even from the RBI Governor himself, to lure them into sharing details of their accounts or paying some ‘fees or charges’ to get the money. One such fraudulent SMS asks the recipient to deposit Rs 9,500 as fund release order fee charges with a bank account — which the fraudster presents as that of the RBI itself — and provide a bank account number, Aadhaar and address details for getting an amount of over Rs 2 crore (denominated in US dollars and other foreign currencies) as a por-tion of funds recovered from the erstwhile British rulers. While the RBI has been regularly issuing caution notices against such frauds, it has now taken to SMSes to spread public awareness against such frauds and has also set up a ‘missed call’ helpline that provides all necessary information to the callers, including about filing of complaints.
The RBI has clarified that people confronted with such requests should not fall into the trap of paying fees or charges to get large sums in return as the RBI/RBI Governor/Government never send such email/SMS/call. The RBI has also clarified that it does not open any account for individuals and cautions against getting misguided by calls or SMSes seeking transfer of money to purported RBI account or sharing of personal banking details.
The RBI helpline is aimed at explaining to the general public that it never asks any such details from individuals and such calls are made by fraudsters who typically ask the gullible public to either deposit a small amount with RBI to get a big amount of money in return in the name of some prize or lottery.