Citizens' Issues
Public Interest Exclusive
RBI governor latest victim of scam e-mail

In the latest e-mail, scamsters have used RBI governor Dr D Subbarao’s name to offer fifty-fifty share in a Rs5.8 crore deal

Are you among the many who have the privilege of receiving an email from D Subbarao, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)? And if you have, have you been stumped at him offering you a life-changing deal and Rs5.8 crore to booty, so long as you keep the deal a secret?

Well, if you have, we hope you find it sufficiently outrageous to ignore it. Yes, the RBI governor is the latest victim of the notorious "Nigerian scam" (which is no longer about widows of Nigerian dictators seeking help in taking their ill-gotten wealth out of the country in return for a share in profit) and it indicates that the scamsters are getting cheekier, or managing to find a lot of gullible people in India.
The mail, purportedly by Dr Subbarao reads: "I wish to contact you for an urgent business which I know you will keep the secret for the best of us". As is typical of these scam emails, it says that the money belonging to a dead person (Ben Morris, who died six years ago while returning to his home country-Canada) "is about to be confiscated by the present Indian government" since there is no claimant.
What the scamsters want is your bank details so that the so-called "governor" credits your account with the booty, to be split 50:50, after costs. If you are tempted and respond to the email, you will find a series of costs that will keep mounting so long as you are gullible enough to keep paying.   

More dangerously, look at the information that the imposter seeks from the victim: Full name; address with city and state; phone/fax/mobile; company name with designation and address; bank name with address, your bank account number with swift code/routing number; profession, age and marital status and finally, copy of your international passport/driver's license.

If nothing else, these details are always useful to fraudsters involved in identity theft.
The central bank has often always been a victim of such e-mails using its name to offer unclaimed lottery funds, but this is probably the first time that an email has gone out in the name of the governor himself. (Read, "RBI offering unclaimed funds through lottery? Beware, scamsters are on the prowl again".) In the earlier such e-mails, the fraudsters have impeccably cloned RBI's website and had asked for bank details. But this time they have directly targeted its governor, by creating an e-mail id in his name-[email protected] and [email protected].  

According to the e-mail, Dr Subbarao is negotiating a deal to get 5.8 crore, rupee or dollar or any other unknown currency, and you could also get equal share in the bargain. For this all he requires is your personal and bank details to transfer the money, which will be equally divided between both the parties. To make it realistic, e-mail superficially mentions that, "since I am the governor in charge here I cannot use my name or my relatives account to transfer the money…"  

The scam e-mail further says that, "Please note that you will stand as the full owner of the money during the transfer of the money because I will not be among the transfer team, so you are the one to speak with the head of the transfer team who may be on phone during the time of the transfer. Any money you spend during the transfer will be removed from the money while we share the rest 50-50."

The scamsters are always on the prowl for newer ways to trap the gullible. Soon after the Satyam scam, there was a similar mail in the name of Mrs Ramalinga Raju. Later, after the Galleon group founder Raj Rajaratnam was arrested in the US, a similar fraudulent email was circulating in the name of his wife, Asha Rajaratnam.

Identity theft and email scams are rampant around the world and apparently find plenty of easy targets, so watch out.



Vijay blessing

1 year ago

Hi my name is Vijay blessing. I maintaining a truest, I ask some fund from other state, one laddy willing to help as. I got a mail from [email protected], ask me one passport size photo and account details then from rbi there is one user name and password is came to my email using that a laddy call from rbi and ask me immediate transaction, i make transaction it get partially terminated and ask me account upgradding code. I ask to that laddy she ask me to pay 99,999INR with in 30 minits the code is generated. Yet i did not pay the amount please replay that this mail id is real or fake plz replay me faster.
replay to [email protected],
replay as soon as possible.


4 years ago

I have received this kind of email from fraud Id,in the name of our Hon'ble RBI Governor. India Govt. should take immediate action against this kind of fraud & fake cases.

Google ads misleading says Australian court

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says the case raises important issues on the role of search engines as publishers of paid content

Melbourne: Dealing a severe blow to Google Inc, an Australian court on Tuesday found the search giant guilty of breaching trade law by displaying "misleading" sponsored links at the top of its search results, reports PTI.

The judgement by the Federal Court means that Google will now have to establish a "compliance programme" so that advertisers will not be able to post misleading or deceptive advertisements in the future.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) appealed last year after a judge ruled Google's conduct had not been in breach of the Trade Practices Act.

However, the court has now overturned that decision, concluding the search engine's conduct did breach the law, ABC News reported.

"The enquiry is made of Google and it is Google's response which is misleading," the court said.

"Although the key words are selected by the advertiser, perhaps with input by Google, what is critical to the process is the triggering of the link by Google using its algorithms," it said.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the case raises important issues on the role of search engines as publishers of paid content.

"This is an important outcome because it makes it clear that Google and other search engine providers which use similar technology to Google will be directly accountable for misleading or deceptive paid search results," Sims said.

Google said it was "disappointed" by the Federal Court's decision that it should be held responsible for the content of advertisements on its platform.

"We believe that advertisers should be responsible for the ads they create on the AdWords platform," it said in a statement.


US court permits class action lawsuit against TCS

The Court approved a class action suit in a case charging the Tata group company with systematic violations of the rights of its non-US citizen workers in the US

Washington: A US District Court in California has approved a class action suit in a case charging Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with systematic violations of the rights of its non-US citizen workers in the US, reports PTI.

The lawsuit filed in 2006 by two of its former employees, Gopi Vedachalam and Kangana Beri, alleges that TCS unjustly enriched itself by requiring all of its non-US-citizen employees to endorse and sign over their federal and state tax refund checks to the company and by taking unauthorised deductions from employee's paychecks.

However, TCS termed it as a procedural matter, saying the order of the court does not address the merit of the case.

"We have received the order of the US District Court. This is an order only on one procedural matter and does not address the merits of this case. TCS continues to believe that when this matter concludes, the court will find that the plaintiff's claims are without any merit," a TCS spokesman said after the class action lawsuit permission order issued by the US District Court Judge Claudia Wilken found that the plaintiffs satisfied the legal requirements for a class action.

"I am very happy with the Court's decision today.  It means that my former colleagues and I are one step closer to holding Tata accountable," Vedachalam said in a statement issued by his attorney.


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