New Delhi: The State Bank of India, or SBI, has issued a warning to its customers about an alleged phishing fraud that has been spreading across the country. The country’s largest public sector bank has alerted its customers about an SBI phishing scam that uses the bank’s name to defraud people of money via various channels including as tweets, SMSes, and emails. The bank has provided two phone numbers and has encouraged account holders not to answer calls from those numbers if they receive one.
The SBI has advised its customers not to accept calls from +91-8294710946 or +91-7362951973, as these look to be scam calls. CID Assam was the first to report the numbers, tweeting, “SBI Customers are getting calls from two nos. -+91-8294710946 & +91-7362951973 asking them to click on a phishing link for KYC update. All SBI customers are asked not to click on any such phishing/suspicious link.”
Later, the bank confirmed this. “Do not engage with these numbers, and don’t click on #phishing links for KYC updates as they aren’t associated with SBI,” SBI retweeted.
Customers have also been tweeting about the SBI scam, and the public sector lender has been responding to them. In response to one of these tweets, SBI stated, “We appreciate your attention and thank you for telling us. Our IT Security team will take the necessary steps. Furthermore, we encourage all of our clients not to respond to emails/ SMS/ calls/embedded links requesting personal or banking information such as user ID/ Password/ Debit Card number/ PIN/ CVV/ OTP, etc. These questions are never asked by a bank. Customers may report such Phishing/Smishing/Vishing attempts via email. To take action, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the hotline at 1930. They can also report these incidents to their local law enforcement.”
In order to effectively combat fraud, the Reserve Bank of India released an educational brochure outlining how fraudsters and scammers operate and how to protect yourself from them.
“Fraudsters distribute fraudulent messages on attractive loans in instant messaging apps / SMS / social media platforms and use the logo of any known NBFC as a profile picture in the mobile number supplied by them to induce trust,” the RBI stated. The scammers then call random persons and exchange bogus sanction letters, copies of fraudulent cheques, and so on, demanding a variety of fees. Once the borrowers pay these fees, the fraudsters take the money.
The RBI has advised clients to take numerous safeguards against these scammers, including not believing suspicious people or clicking on any link received by SMS or email. Customers have been subjected to numerous such incidents, including the recent SBI scam.