Beware!! The next time you receive an email purportedly in the name of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) informing that your email has been selected for a lottery prize amounting to millions of dollars or lakhs of Rupees, better ignore it or approach police. There is 1000 percent chance that the email is bogus and targeted at looting you of your hard earned money through a well-planned conspiracy. The bogus email solicits a horde of personal information such as full name, address, mobile number, Passport number, bank account number, credit, debit card numbers and passwords and many more for receiving the lottery amount. At first sight, the receiver of emails is so impressed by the wordings and display of website that he or she finds it difficult to resist temptation of grabbing the amount and spills the personal information gladly. And this temptation proves very very costly as he or she is relieved in lakhs systematically and sophistically by the senders of bogus email purportedly in the name of RBI. Shockingly, dozens of gullible persons are falling prey to this morbid modus operandi.
In a well-organized conspiracy, the criminals send emails to citizens at random notifying them of lucky winners of a national or international lottery or any other fund. At first sight, the website looks like an official RBI website. Moreover, in order to bamboozle the email holders, name of “RBI’s Transfer Manager Sonia Sharma” is attributed to give credence to emails and consecutively win the trust. The email is “formally” attached by photograph of “Sonia Sharma and official logo of RBI” with the letter to kill any doubt in the minds of would-be victims. However, many ignore the lucrative email but many fall prey to greed and the perpetrators as well. Once the emails are replied, the gang of criminals starts soliciting personal information for handing over the prized amount.
The “winners of lottery” are then advised by the gang of criminals to contact bogus firstname.lastname@example.org and dole out personal information such as Full Names, Residential Address, Mobile Number, Occupation, Sex: Age, Nationality, City, Marital Status, Email ID, Bank Name, Account Number, Account Name and then asked to send Scan Copy of ID Card, Passport Photo and PAN Card. The citizens are then “lawfully” clarified the reasons behind awarding the amount. These absurd reasons among others include a large unclaimed fund is lying with the “RBI” and “Foreign Exchange Trade Department.” Therefore, the “United Nations” and “RBI Governor Dr Rajan” in a joint meeting decided to distribute the fund among citizens by a lottery system. “You are one of the lucky beneficiaries of this lottery,” say the emails sent to the gullible citizens. The gang of criminals, through such fake emails, further tighten their vice like grip on would-be victims by stating “We are going to commence the transfer of your award fund of in millions into your nominated bank account as nominated above. Your fund came from the World Bank of Switzerland in dollars. We cannot transfer dollars into your bank account here in India it must be converted into your national currency, being for the conversion of your currency from Dollars to Your National Currency, for onward transfer into your nominated bank account, and Send your details to Email: email@example.com”.
The citizens are then asked to pay transfer charges in lakhs. And with this modus operandi, the gang of criminals robs the citizens of their hard-earned money in the figures of lakhs.
According to sources, several citizens have fallen prey to these bogus emails and continue to get trapped in the nefarious net.
RBI never sends such mails:
“No such emails are sent on behalf of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) nor any lottery or prize amount is given by the Bank. The RBI has nothing to do with these emails,” asserted R Srinivas Rao, Public Relations Officer of RBI Nagpur.
“Police continue to receive complaints of cheating through such bogus emails and action is taken on each complaint. Citizens must ponder over prize amount being given to them without reasons. Safety lies in alertness,” said K K Pathak, Commissioner of Police, Nagpur.