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RBI Cautioned Net Banking Users Against Phishing Scams

In view of increasing number of phishing scams being reported throughout India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has resolved to take strict action against all online phishers connected with phishing scams irrespective of their nationality.

The RBI has cautioned online net banking users against e-mails promising them a generous sum in the UK pounds or US dollars from some foreign individual, since, as per them, it is scammers who employ such techniques to entice unwary and naive people in their phishings.

According to the RBI, the current technique being used by scammers is to offer big bucks in foreign currency via e-mails from some overseas organizations or persons, together with the Indian people serving as their agents, to leave an impression of reliability on the mind of the e-mail receiver when he/she reads the message.

Moreover, phishers are offering such huge sums (in foreign exchange) not only to individuals but also to the educational institutions and hospitals in the guise of aiding them in their jobs or other projects in India. The e-mail sender, or the phishers' accomplice or agent, thinks himself/herself to be very fortunate for having obtained aid from the foreign individual.

As per the RBI, this whole process is to gain the trust of the recipient so that he/she goes ahead and opens the link given within the phishing messages immediately.

But, the RBI warns users that as soon as such contacts are made, the phisher asks for the account information of the Indian resident and requests victim to pay a some amount to them as preliminary deposit/commission to send the offer amount at the earliest.

In the meantime, a Senior RBI Official informed the Times Of India that a warning had been issued by the bank that individuals found transferring money via online would be charged under the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and are liable to be punished or imprisoned. Thus, the RBI has clarified that anyone implicated in a phishing fraud in any way would be punished, as reported by The Times of India in the end of August 2008.

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