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RBI organized awareness meet on fraudulent lottery schemes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Regional Office Guwahati organized a press briefing for the print and electronic media of Aizawl on Aug 17 evening at the Conference Hall of the State Guest House regarding fictitious prize money and fake lottery offered to people through SMS, email and letters. The general public was made aware of the recent trend of fictitious e-mails, SMS etc. promising to pay huge amounts of money won through lottery by fraudsters.

The officials of the RBI addressed the gathering and informed the press about the need to educate the public and create awareness about this new cyber crime so that the public do not fall prey to such fake offers. The media was requested to disseminate information about this new crime so that common people do not fall prey to fraudulent schemes.
In view of the recent cases coming to light in which number of persons have been duped the RBI has taken an initiative to educate the general public about this types of fraudulent schemes. These fraudulent schemes are also known as  Nigerian 419 Scam(for the relevant section of the Nigerian Criminal Code), in which the fraudster sends the email to target persons in guise of some rich family member of a dead African Millionaire who is in distress due to political turbulence in his country. The fraudster seeks your help to get the large sum of money in your account with a commission of huge money to you for your services of offering your account to receive the money. The recipient is encouraged to send information like his bank name, login Id & password. The scheme relies on convincing a willing victim to send money to the author of the email in the designated account which is fake bank account on the pretext that the said money is required by him in the process to get the money transferred.

The recent investigation of some of these lottery schemes revealed that the fraudster have opened the fake accounts with reputed private banks even with fake or non existing addresses. In some cases also, the “defunct” salary accounts of the employees who have left their jobs with their employers have been misused by the fraudster. It is in this context, the law enforcement agencies requested the RBI as the regulator of the banks & financial institutions to take steps to curb the menace of the Nigerian Frauds. The RBI has taken an initiative in this regard and the advertisements in Television are doing the rounds regarding the lottery fraud creating awareness among the general public regarding these fraudulent schemes. The RBI has also published warning about Lottery Fraud on RBI website (www.rbi.org.in).

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