Banks see alarming increase in efforts to fool customers after credit awareness program

Cases increased after credit awareness program to disburse loans to priority sectors

After seeing an alarming increase in the efforts of fraudsters to trick the general public with loan offers, the Kodagu District Principal Bank Manager has sought to warn the public against the prey of cybercriminals.

A lead bank is responsible for coordinating the disbursement of loans to priority sectors identified by the government. The lead bank works in coordination with the district administration. In Kodagu, the lead bank is the Union Bank of India.

Kodagu District Main Bank Manager RK Balachandra said in a statement that the number of phone calls received by customers from online fraudsters increased sharply after a credit awareness program was held in the country. Kodagu District on October 22 to raise awareness about loans and other programs. offered by banks.

Fraudsters pretending to be representatives of various banks, which had been enlisted by the government to disburse loans, called customers and asked them to share copies of their documents, viz. PAN card, Aadhaar card, ration card, electricity bills, bank book and two passport size photos via WhatsApp. “The documents they are looking for are more or less the same as any bank,” he said.

As part of their modus operandi, they ask people to deposit an amount ranging from 3,500 to 10,000 to process their loan application. In most cases, scammers ask their victims to make payment to digital or electronic wallets.

Mr Balachandra said fraudsters are misusing the credit awareness camps run by public and private sector banks in various districts as part of the Indian government’s credit awareness program to help people affected by the pandemic. of COVID-19. The first phase of the program, which began in Karnataka on October 11, will end on October 30.

He warned the public against entertaining calls from people claiming to be part of the credit awareness program. He also cautioned against separating the one-time password (OTP) sent to their cell phones, the CVV number on the back of the debit or credit card, the personal identification number (PIN) or their Internet banking password.

Among other things, scammers have started calling customers and claiming that the funds will be credited to their Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan account if they share the OTP. “Once the OTP is shared, they will take all the money out of your bank account,” he warned.

Some of the cell phone numbers, used for making fraudulent calls, have been shared with the Cybercrime, Economic Offenses and Narcotics (CEN) Police Station in Madikeri.

However, officials at the CEN police station said a case can be registered and an investigation can only be opened if victims of fraud make a formal complaint.

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