You may have received emails informing that you have won a lottery and can receive the same by providing some basic details and a small amount of money.
Though you may have identified the mail as fake, you must have not lodge a complaint mainly because you did not know whom to inform.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 5 December released a list of 34 nodal agencies across different states and Union territories where you can register complaints regarding fictitious offers, lottery winnings and offers of remittance of funds from abroad among others.
Most of these nodal agencies are the economic offence wings or cyber crime cells of the state police department.
The list of these nodal agencies along with their phone numbers is available on the RBI website .
Why this initiative?
Several investors have been duped in the past and RBI has on several occasion cautioned the public not to fall prey. The latest RBI initiative goes a step further and provides a legal platform to lodge complaints regarding such incidents with ease. More complaints will help investigating authorities nab culprits.
How fraudsters operate
To attract your attention, most fraudsters send attractive offers to the public through emails and texts. To lend authenticity to such fictitious offers, communications are sent on a company letterhead or from websites which resemble the websites of various government authorities.
To lend further credence, such offers are often signed by top executives or senior officials of these authorities and also contain phone numbers. Though the names of the officials may be correct, the signatures are fake.
Fraudsters generally ask the person to deposit a small sum of money in a particular bank account towards processing fees, transaction fees, tax clearance charges and conversion charges among others.
Such bank accounts generally belong to individuals who are persuaded by the fraudsters to lend their accounts on the promise of passing on some commission.
As soon as money is deposited, demand for more money follow citing other charges. Once the account has sizeable amount, fraudsters withdraw or transfer the money abroad.
Similarly, some fraudsters send you emails which seem very similar to mails sent by your bank. Typically, such mails ask for account details, password for Internet banking or credit card information. If you respond to such mails, you are bound to be in trouble. Besides losing money, you may get entangled in legal trouble as participation in any scheme from unknown entities is illegal.
What should you do?
Upon receiving such mails, inform the local nodal agency immediately. Also, take extra caution while responding to emails and texts and verify the authenticity of such communications with your bank.