Money & Banking

RBI cautions public on fake calls, e-mails and sms asking for personal info

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 01, 2014 Published on August 01, 2014

Divulging about credit or debit card personal information to entities/individuals over phone or mails or sms is asking for trouble.

No bank or respectable organisation will ask for bank account, debit or credit card details

With new methods of fraud coming to light, the Reserve Bank of India has once again cautioned members of public that it does not call or send sms or e-mails to individuals about lottery prizes, transfer of funds received from abroad or for making bank accounts or credit/debit cards more secure.

The RBI said it does not send any such mails or make such calls. In fact, no bank or respectable organisation asks for bank account details or details of the debit or credit cards over email or phone.

On several occasions in the past, the RBI has cautioned members of public about such frauds and urged them 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.

The RBI said one modus operandi employed by fraudsters is to send an e-mail in the name of a senior RBI official, giving an impression of it having been sent from the central bank and at times even displays the official extension.

The e-mail states that the RBI has received a large sum of foreign currency from the World Bank or a well-known international institution or a multi-national company for transfer of such funds to the bank account of the e-mail recipient.

The reason for such transfer cited in such e-mails is also quite convincing, such as, ‘compensation for internet and cyber-crimes and for reduction of poverty in Asian regions’.

The e-mail requests for submission of personal data of the mail recipient, such as, his bank account number, mobile number and passport details for claiming the amount. The e-mail also claims that such messages are generated by the ‘Foreign Remittance Department – an Online Banking Unit of the Reserve Bank’.

Another way to defraud the susceptible public is to convince the recipient of a phone call to divulge details of the debit card to the caller who claims to be calling from the Reserve Bank.

The caller states that the Reserve Bank needs details of the card including the CVV (card verification value) number as printed on the back of the card and also the PIN (personal identification number) to make the card more secure.

Similarly, through an email, fraudsters lead the mail recipients to a website that looks similar to the official RBI website and ask them to fill up a form with details of their bank accounts, the RBI said in a statement.

The RBI said it does not hold any money for any individuals. The only official and genuine website of the RBI is The public should be careful and should not be misled by fake websites with similar addresses beginning with ‘Reserve Bank’, ‘RBI’, etc., along with fake logos.

People should not fall prey to offers from someone posing as RBI officials, it could be impersonation. The central bank said anyone receiving such fictitious offers should inform the local police or cyber crime authority about such calls/e-mails/sms.

Published on August 01, 2014
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