Capital markets regulator Sebi today cautioned the investors and general public against fraudulent calls being made in the name of regulatory officials to sell financial products or to offer investment advice.
Amid rising instances of fraudsters posing as regulatory officials to lure unsuspecting investors into their investment schemes, similar warnings have been issued in the recent past by other financial regulators, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority).
In its public notice issued today, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said that "Sebi neither offers any investment advice or recommend any investment products/ schemes nor seeks any personal information of investors for this purpose."
"It is observed from some recent newspaper reports that fraudulent telephone calls are being made to individuals/ investors in the name of the regulatory officials giving advice on financial products," Sebi said.
"In this regard, the attention of the public is drawn to the fact that If any prospective investor is contacted by any person purporting to be a Sebi official and offering such investment advice or seeking such information, individuals may not entertain such calls and deny him/her such access and verify the details of such purported official from Sebi website," the regulator said.
Insurance regulator IRDA recently came across various instances of certain insurance agents making calls to the investors in the name of regulatory officials and asking them to switch their insurance polices for new ones, thus seeking to earn huge commissions.
In a recent public notice, banking regulator RBI also said that it has come across instances of emails being sent in its name to the people, offering them a 'new online security protection' to reduce fraud and theft in banking systems.
The RBI said it has neither developed any such software nor it sends any such mails asking online banking customers to update their account details to secure their bank accounts.
The central bank has asked the people receiving such phishing mails not to open any attachments, as it might result in identity theft and pose threats to their bank accounts.