RJio goes on offensive to combat ‘tower scam’

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on February 19, 2019 Published on February 19, 2019

Owners of land parcels were promised a rent of ₹10,000-50,000 a month on signing a two-year contract for setting up tower sites   -  THE HINDU

Scamsters have been collecting funds from landowners for fake tower sites

After unearthing a mobile tower scam, which appears to be rampant across the country, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) has decided to contain the menace.

The company discovered that scamsters claiming to be RJio representatives were mailing letters on forged letterheads to owners of land parcels, promising a rent of ₹10,000-50,000 a month (depending on the location) on signing a two-year contract for setting up tower sites.

A person lured by the offer would be asked to deposit ₹7,000-14,000 into a bank account as a registration fee. The bank account would be kept running for another month or so in an attempt to dupe as many as possible. Then the scamsters would quietly withdraw their loot, close the account, shut down their phones and vanish.

“A lot of farmers have fallen prey to this scam. There have been a number of instances in Jabalpur, Khadak (Pune district), Nashik, Indore and Prayagraj,” one of the sources said.

Hitting back, RJio is now filing at least 100 FIRs a month across the country, and is using social media to educate people about fake websites, rogue apps and mischievous social handles. The operator is also texting its subscribers, warning them of the scam.

“Be extra careful and verify the credentials of the person asking for money/advance for mobile tower installation. Jio never demands fee in any form for tower installation & please don’t pay if anybody asks for money,” said an SMS sent out by the company.

Additionally, RJio is issuing cautionary advertisements and working with registrars such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Bill scam

RJio has also been fighting another scam — a mobile bill racket — since its inception. Fraudsters mail highly inflated mobile bills on forged letterheads, which are then followed up by a fake recovery team. The telco, as a policy, doesn’t mail hard copies of bills.

A company spokesperson confirmed all the developments.

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Published on February 19, 2019
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