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Raghuram Rajan wants regulator to use social media to spy on, unleash crackdown against online fraud

Feb 12 2014, 22:22 IST
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RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan believes the IT industry can help come up with some solutions on catching online frauds. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan believes the IT industry can help come up with some solutions on catching online frauds.
SummaryBy piggybacking on Facebook and Twitter, Raghuram Rajan wants to spike online frauds.

With instances of online financial frauds on the rise, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan today mooted the idea of using the social media by the regulator as a tool to pick-up wrongdoings.

"Can we enlist social media in enabling the public to identify fraud and can we as regulators filter that information in careful and responsible way so that we can collect information about what is happening and react to it?" Rajan posed the question while speaking at the annual Nasscom leadership conference here.

Elaborating on the subject, Raghuram Rajan told reporters later that it is only an idea that perhaps over time, social media can be used as a listening post to pick up the latest frauds.

"It's early days, there are no plans but this is something we have to consider," he said.

Rajan, who has created a reputation of using unconventional methods to tackle issues at hand since taking over in September last year, said he broached the idea in the gathering because he believes the IT industry, which is laying greater focus on the SMAC (social media, mobile, analytics and cloud) area, can help come up with some solutions on this.

The RBI Governor, one of the youngest to occupy the corner office at Mint Road in recent times, added that the virtual space has two sides to it-- it can be used by a potential fraudster to trap hapless victims, while it can also be used as an asset for police to fight wrongdoings.

Rajan conceded that quite a lot of e-mails bearing his or the RBI's name and asking for personal details to give out some "prizes" are doing the rounds, and assured all that the RBI does not ask for any such data.

The country has a very robust social media with quite a lot of activities on Facebook and twitter, two of the most popular social media websites.

Even though the banks are active on such networks from the corporate identity perspective, the RBI does not yet have an official page or a handle on the popular websites.

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