SBI warns against fraudsters luring customers with fake deposit schemes

India’s biggest bank, State Bank of India, has been forced to issue warning letters to its customers after fraudsters targeted the banks’ customers with fake schemes and offers.

An email message has been sent to customers warning them against depositing money on the advice of such people.

“The recent spate of fictitious offers of cheap funds from fraudsters through letters, e-mails, mobile phones, SMS’s, advertisement in news print media/social media like Facebook/WhatsApp, using fake websites in the name of RBI/public institutions etc with fictitious email IDs, I-Cards, mobile numbers offering jobs, lottery winning, mobile towers, distributor-ship, gifts, awards etc has caused huge loss of funds to the unsuspecting customers,” said SBI in an email to its customers.

“We therefore advise our customers to be on high alert while dealing with such fictitious offers and not to remit or deposit their hard-earned money in such accounts,” the bank said, adding that any such offer should be brought to the notice of the police for investigation.

SBI is not the first bank to be worried about fraud in India.

Most mobile users get at least a couple of such calls every month.

Fraudsters start by pretending to be calling from a bank or an agency working on behalf of a bank, and proceed to warn the victim that his or her bank account or debit card has been hacked.

To get their account back, they add, the victim must reconfirm his or her details such as ATM PINs and so on.

SBI’s email indicates a different method, where scamsters are using greed to trap their victims.

India at present does not have a central mechanism to receive complaints about phishing attempts or fake calls. As a result, nearly everyone who receives such a call simply cuts and ignores it.

This encourages scamsters to continue their attempts until they find someone who falls for their scheme.

In many countries, customers have the option of reporting the phone number of the person making the fraud call via a text message to a centralized database. The phone numbers are then tracked and the persons behind such illegal networks are arrested.

At a minimum, services to such numbers are cut off and the persons who take such connections are blacklisted by telecom companies.