It’s a simple trap: A “confidential” e-mail notifies the recipient of a large sum that has been set aside for him. The e-mail declares itself to have been sent by the Foreign Exchange Transfer Department of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and bears the signature of RBI Governor, D Subbarao. It demands a small amount for release of money.
The catch is simple too: “RBI never contacts the public via unsolicited phone calls or e-mails asking for money or any other type of personal information.”
The sender of the e-mail demands what seems to be a small amount of Rs 15,500 to release a massive sum of Rs 4,38,57,443.75 to the recipient’s bank account. Also requested are details of PAN card, bank account, payment receipt and passport size photos.
The e-mail tells the recipient that he or she is listed as a beneficiary in the recent schedule for payment of outstanding debts incurred by the British government, pending for 2012.
Spokesperson of RBI Alpana Killawala told Newsline that such “fraud” e-mails have been doing the rounds and clarified that the RBI has not sent out any such mails.
“The RBI never contacts the public via unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for money or any other type of personal information. The organisation does not maintain, give money/foreign currency or any other type of funds to individual or open accounts for/in the name of individuals,” she said.
The RBI has issued advisories, urging the public to remain alert and not to fall prey to frauds or scams by individuals who impersonate employee of the RBI.
The e-mail concerned mentions that RBI Governor D Subbarao and Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, had a meeting with the Senate Tax Committee on Finance in RBI’s Mumbai and Delhi branches. In the meeting it was decided that all unclaimed funds to the beneficiaries, which have been due for a long run.
The important names used in the e-mail lure people into the trap. An RBI official said once a person agrees to pay the initial sum, the cheats continue to ask for more money by citing “official” reasons. Once they have drained their victim off all the money, the cheats flee.
The Economic Offence Wing said such e-mails have been brought to its notice by at least 15 people.
“We received the calls about the e-mail, but have not received an official complaint. No case has been registered. We are however