Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters. There has been a sizable surge in the usage of digital modes of payment during recent years. This has not only led to improved customer convenience but also contributed to the achievement of the national objective of financial inclusion to a great extent. As the ease of doing financial transactions improved, the number of frauds in retail financial transactions has gone up. Fraudsters have been using innovative methods to defraud the hard-earned money of common and gullible people, especially new entrants who are not entirely familiar with the techno-financial eco-system.
In compiling this booklet, the sole objective has been to pack between its covers maximum possible extent of practical information of real value, especially for those who are inexperienced in financial transactions. It is not just a collection of incidents, gathered at random from various sources, but a meticulously compiled document from the variety of complaints received at the offices of the Banking Ombudsman. This booklet is an attempt at creating awareness among the public about the modus operandi of the fraudsters, while also providing some inputs about precautions to adopt while carrying out financial transactions. This booklet emphasizes the need to keep one’s personal information safe, beware of unknown calls/emails, practice due diligence while performing financial transactions, and change the secure credentials/ passwords from time to time. Hence the title BE(A)WARE – Be Aware and Beware!
The central bank said that the usual modus operandi in such cases include receipt of unsolicited communication, such as calls, SMSs, emails, etc., by customer urging him/her to share certain personal details, account/login details/card information, PIN, OTP, etc. or install some unauthorized/unverified application for KYC updation using a link provided in the communication. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters
BOOK NAME – BE WARE A BOOKLET ON MODUS OPERANDI OF FINANCIAL FRAUDSTERS
AUTHOR – RBI
LANGUAGE – ENGLISH
SIZE – 2.8MB
PAGES – 40
Such communications are also reported to carry threats of account freeze/ block/closure. Once a customer shares information over call/message/unauthorized application, fraudsters get access to the customer’s account and defraud him/her. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters.
RBI cautions Public Once Again against Fictitious Offers
The Reserve Bank of India has today reiterated that it never contacts the public via unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for money or any other type of personal information. The Reserve Bank does not maintain/give money/foreign currency or any other type of funds to individuals or opens accounts for/in the name of individuals. The Reserve Bank has urged the public to remain alert and not to fall prey to frauds or scams perpetrated by individuals who impersonate to be employees of the Reserve Bank of India. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters.
- RBI does not hold any accounts for individuals.
- Beware of impersonated names of RBI officials
- Nobody from RBI calls up people about lottery winnings/funds received from abroad
- RBI does not send any emails intimating the award of lottery funds, etc.
- RBI does not send any SMS or letter or email to communicate fictitious offers of lottery winnings or funds received from abroad.
- The only official and genuine website of the Reserve Bank of India is (www.rbi.org.in) and the public may be careful and not get misled by fake websites with similar addresses beginning with ‘Reserve Bank’, ‘RBI’, etc., along with fake logos.
- Inform local police or cyber crime authority about such frauds.
The Reserve Bank of India has, on several occasions in the past, cautioned the members of the public not to fall prey to fictitious offers/lottery winnings/remittance of cheap funds in foreign currency from abroad by so-called foreign entities/ individuals or to Indian residents acting as representatives of such entities/individuals. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters.
Describing the modus operandi of the fraud, the Reserve Bank has stated that the fraudsters send attractive offers to the gullible public through letters, e-mails, mobile phones, SMSs, etc. To lend credence to such offers, the communication is often sent on/from letterheads/websites that appear to be like that of some public authorities like the Reserve Bank of India. The offers are purportedly signed by top executives/senior officials of such authorities. While the names of the officials might be correct but their signatures are fake. The offer document would contain contact details of a so-called RBI officer working in some department in the Reserve Bank/public authorities. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters.
The fraudsters initially ask potential victims to deposit small sums of money for reasons, such as processing fees/transaction fees/tax clearance charges/conversion charges, clearing fees, etc. The victims are asked to deposit the money in a specified account in a bank. The fraudsters often have multiple accounts in the names of individuals or proprietary concerns in different bank branches for collecting such charges. Genuine but gullible account holders are persuaded by the fraudsters to even lend their accounts for such fraudulent activities on the promise of receiving some commission. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters.
Once the initial amount is deposited, demands for more money follow with more official-sounding reasons. After accumulating a sizeable amount in these accounts, the fraudsters withdraw or transfer the money abroad and vanish leaving the victims in a lurch. Many residents have already become victims and have lost huge sums of money by falling for such fictitious offers. Be Ware A Booklet on Modus Operandi of Financial Fraudsters.
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