Banks to educate public against placing deposits in dubious schemes

There have been several incidents of unscrupulous entities duping general public by floating various dubious schemes for mobilisation of funds by way of deposits/investments etc. Many a time such schemes are projected as investments in reality, farms, and other miscellaneous products. However, invariably such schemes lure gullible public by offering returns which are much higher than that offered by banks on deposits.

RBI felt that the absence of financial literacy and lack of alertness to fraudulent schemes/calls are the main reasons behind the innocent depositors falling prey to such schemes. These episodes, apart from impacting the public at large, have repercussions on the banking sector, as the money that is misappropriated by these unscrupulous entities should have come to the banking system augmenting banks’ deposit base.

In view of the above, RBI has adviced banks to consider designing suitable posters or pamphlets or flyers or notices containing following messages:

Never respond to unsolicited offers of money received through emails/phone/other media*

No one really gives you money for free*

Be careful while investing in seemingly attractive schemes offering high returns*

Don’t invest in unregulated companies/entities*

Don’t rely on hearsay - Check for yourself*

High return means higher risk including potential loss of entire money – Check your risk-appetite!*

Take care of your money – it is hard to earn but easy to lose*

When in doubt check with a trusted financial adviser*

Wherever feasible, such messages may be displayed or distributed in the bank branches (in the official language of the state) to enable easy notice by the customers. Since bank branches are vantage points where members of public visit, it will help to disseminate the information to the public. Banks may consider places like Automated Teller Machines or Business Correspondent Points where such messages could get wider visibility. This would also be beneficial to the bank as their customers would be aware and vigilant of any such fraudulent schemes/calls.

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