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RBI Urges Indians to Overlook Phishing E-mails

An RBI (Reserve Bank of India) official has reiterated the warning of the central bank to the people urging them to overlook fake e-mails persuading them to deposit their money in some unknown bank accounts.

According to the Regional Director of RBI, A K Bera, these fraudulent e-mails, in some cases, were found to bear fake RBI letterheads, allegedly signed by the RBI's top executives, as per the news published by PRESS TRUST OF INDIA on June 7, 2010.

More than ten incidents of e-mail fraud have been discovered at the RBI's Foreign Exchange Department, where citizens have been deceived of amount ranging anything in between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 Lakh via such fake e-mails, Bera said. The money lost to such scams cannot be recovered, he added.

Meanwhile, the ten fake accounts opened with various nationalized and private banks that were reportedly used in this phishing scam have been seized and further investigations are in progress, Bera said.

In this regard, security experts stated that such online assaults by cyber crooks have escalated in the recent times, owning to the increasing use of mobile phones and Internet as well as the anxiety caused by the global economic downturn which has left large number of people jobless, mostly in the Western countries.

Alpana Killawala, spokeswoman for the RBI, noted that the current situation is really grim, as per the news published by THE ECONOMIC TIMES on May 22, 2010.

While addressing the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena, said that in the past two years alone, Internet banking frauds have cost India more than Rs 115 Crore, especially the number of such cases more than doubled in 2009, reported THE ECONOMIC TIMES on May 22, 2010.

It is very unfortunate that the RBI, which is ready to launch a print, television and Internet campaign in 13 different languages in a bid to make people aware of the online scams, is itself a target of online attacks. Security software vendor Symantec discovered phishing websites imitating that of the RBI in March and April, this year. According to the security firm, number of phishing websites mimicking state-owned banks in India surged by 35% in March 2010 from the preceding month of February.

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