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(Precious) Words of Wisdom : "Wall Street makes its money on ACTIVITY, you make your money on INACTIVITY." ~ Warren Buffett

Warning! You Will Lose Your Money In A Scam.

A famous movie star loses around Rs.80 lakhs on account of false promises of a 'massive' 24% p.a. returns by a 'reputed' foreign bank.

A techie from Pune is duped of Rs.38 lakhs by a person she meets on a matrimonial website, who claims to be a doctor from UK.

An officer in a company in Kolkata loses Rs.12 lakhs. He is lured into depositing the same as bank charges, after he receives an SMS claiming that he has supposedly won Rs.40 lakhs in an international lottery.

In UP, fraudsters mislead many people into paying money to apply for the 'non-existent' Government jobs and then disappear with all the loot.

In Mumbai, entire savings are withdrawn from a call centre employee's bank account, after he unwittingly shares his debit card details over phone with a person posing as his bank's manager.

These are not a few stray incidents. Numerous cases of similar frauds are happening practically every day. In fact, RBI has repeatedly warned against phishing attacks.

Given the high trust factor in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn friends and fans, these websites have become a favourite hunting ground for the cheats to lure unsuspecting people. This is apart from the misuse of matrimonial, jobs, e-commerce and such other websites.

Besides, many schemes are regularly floated that "promise" much higher interest rates than the banks deposits. Disguised as "highly lucrative" investments in farms, real estate, etc., they often tempt and attract 'financially' ignorant depositors. More often than not, they all end up losing their hard-earned money to these fraudulent schemes.

Concerned with the increasing trend in such duping incidents, RBI has recently issued a circular to all banks on the 'Publicity in the bank branches cautioning public against placing deposits in dubious schemes'.

The idea is to forewarn the general public against such unscrupulous practices. 

As per the same, banks have been advised to warn their vast customer base against such illegal schemes; and to also spread financial literacy and awareness among them. This is in the interest of all concerned.

RBI is of the opinion that such scams happen due to low levels of financial literacy in India and the general lack of alertness among the depositors. As such, many people make an easy prey and often become unfortunate victims. Besides, the banks too are affected. The money lost to such schemes, would have instead come to banks, increasing their deposit base.

Must Read: Which type of Financial Illiterate are you? 

Therefore, banks have been advised to design suitable pamphlets, brochures, flyers, notices etc. and prominently display and distribute the same.

Don't be cheated and swindled... keep your eyes, ears, nose open for trouble.

Important messages to be conveyed, through such publicity material, include:

- How can you even believe that someone will give you money for free!

- All such offers of money are FAKE... I repeat, FAKE. Therefore, it is in your best interest not to respond to any such unsolicited emails, phone calls or even personal contacts.

- All schemes offering "abnormally" high returns are FAKE... I repeat, FAKE. Therefore, you should be extremely wary of such moneymaking plans. Keep your GREED in check!

- All schemes intending to raise money from the general public have to have appropriate approvals. Hence, never give your hard-earned money to unregistered, unregulated and unapproved companies or schemes.

- Word-of-mouth publicity and promises are generally rubbish and worthless. Therefore, it is your responsibility to thoroughly verify all the facts BEFORE you sign on the dotted line and hand over your cheque.

- No "safe" scheme will give high returns. So one thing is certain... you have to take high risk of losing your money, if you aim for higher returns (assuming, of course, that the scheme is a genuine one e.g. investing in a start-up). Will you be financially unaffected, even if you lost your entire investment in the scheme? Be very sure of your appetite to stomach such high risks. 

- You just cannot be lazy, careless and complacent about your money. You very well know, how difficult it is to earn it. So why lose it easily to a fake scheme?

- Whenever you have a medical problem, you go to a trusted doctor. Likewise, whenever you have a financial problem, you must go to a trusted advisor.

Don't Miss: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Phishing...a type of cyber crime?

Dubious schemes are a deep-rooted malaise. Therefore, educating the general public and achieving the desired objective, is going to take time. As such, these efforts have to be sustained over long term. So, RBI wants that the bank staff should be duly sensitized in this regard.

In short, your 'default' mode should be as if you are about to be cheated... hence, you must always keep your eyes and ears open for trouble.

An Investment In Knowledge Pays The Best Interest ~ Benjamin Franklin

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Ignorance is like a SIGNED BLANK CHEQUE... anyone can MISUSE it.

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