Post demonetization, the people of India have been desperate to withdraw money from ATMs or banks. This has made them vulnerable to scammers of all types. India is not yet ready to become a cashless economy. Desperation can make one do things, knowing fully well that it is the wrong thing to do. A recent incident demonstrates this fact. Recently, people have been receiving e – mails, which contain a letter as an attachment. The letter in the attachment has an RBI letterhead and the forged signature of the RBI governor, Urjit Ravindra Patel. It even has a .com website address. The letter proposes that a sum of Rs. 2.5 lakh crores will be deposited in your bank account, if you fill and send the form (which is another attachment in the e – mail) in the e – mail! Given the desperation what people have, post demonetization, to get money, they like to believe that Rs. 2.5 lakh crores will actually be deposited in their bank accounts, making them rich. Read more on Demonetization.
The gullibility factor has risen exponentially. The people’s mindset, post demonetization, has changed from ‘we can tackle it’ to ‘we cannot take it anymore’. The snaking queues in front of ATMs and banks have returned after a one month gap. This has lowered people’s patience considerably and has them wondering as to what’s going on and whether India has been ‘dug into a hole’. The Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes which were demonetized, constituted a whopping 86% of all the currency notes in circulation at that time and the RBI has not even printed 25% of their volume of Rs. 100 and Rs. 2000 notes to replace them completely! The people who have black money have also managed to convert at least a part of it into black property and are not yet facing the heat of demonetization. India is hardly ready to become a cashless economy, with only 2% of all the transactions done being cashless.
This e – mail scam would have deceived a lot more people if the sum offered wasn’t too large (Rs. 2.5 lakh crores) and the fact that it is offering foreign currency (US $5,00,000). If it said that it was depositing Rs. 5 lakhs into people’s account as a part of the amount of black money retrieved by the demonetization drive, a lot more people would have fallen for the trick as they are desperate to get money. Despite the drawbacks of the scam, several people, especially the town folks in India, have foolishly revealed their bank details (including their account number, internet banking password and PIN number) in the form in the e – mail and their account balances have been swiped clean by the scammers!
Indian citizens, especially the town and village people in India, are not yet trained to keep their bank details confidential! Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who had tricked several US citizens into revealing their bank details, would have had a very easy time in India obtaining confidential financial information. The Government of India is duty-bound to inform the nation that no money is being deposited in anyone’s account with reference to the black money hunt or the demonetization initiative. If scammers succeed in cheating the people of India, showing the black money hunt and the demonetization drive as the reason, there will e – mails about schools wanting cashless payments in the future and most of the Indian citizens can’t tell the difference between a genuine form and a fake one. Hence, I request all Indian citizens to beware of such fraudsters and not fall for their tricks! Read more on Startup News