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Remittance towards participation in lottery, money circulation schemes, other fictitious offers of cheap funds, etc.

RBI/2009-10/474
A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.54

May 26, 2010

To

All Authorised Dealer Category – I Banks

Madam / Sir,

Remittance towards participation in lottery, money circulation schemes,
other
fictitious offers of cheap funds, etc.

Attention of Authorized Dealer Category - I (AD Category - I) banks is invited to the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 22 dated December 7, 2000, A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 02 dated July 27, 2001 and A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 49 dated June 4, 2002 in terms of which it was advised that remittance in any form towards participation in lottery schemes are prohibited under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. Further, these restrictions are also applicable to remittances for participation in lottery like schemes existing under different names like money circulation scheme or remittances for the purpose of securing prize money/awards, etc.

2.     It is observed that there has been a spate of fictitious offers of cheap funds in recent times from the fraudsters through letters, e-mails, mobile phones, SMS, etc. Communications on fake letterheads of the Reserve Bank and purportedly signed by its top executives / senior officials are also being sent to targetted people. Many residents have been victims of such teasing offers and lost huge money in the process. The Reserve Bank has already alerted the public on several occasions about such fictitious schemes/ offers, through the print and the electronic media and more such public education campaigns are being planned.

3.     It has been brought to the notice of the Reserve Bank that fraudsters are seeking money from the gullible people, under different heads, such as, processing fees/ transaction fees/tax clearance charges/conversion charges, clearing fees, etc. The victims of the fraud have also been persuaded to  deposit the amount in accounts with banks in India, and such amounts have been withdrawn immediately. It is also observed that multiple accounts are being opened in the name of individuals or  proprietary concerns, at different bank branches for collecting the transaction charges, etc. AD Category - I banks are, therefore, advised to exercise due caution and to be extra vigilant while opening or allowing transactions in such accounts. It is clarified that any person resident in India collecting and effecting / remitting such payments directly /indirectly outside India would make himself/ herself liable to be proceeded against with, for contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 besides being liable for violation of regulations relating to Know Your Customer (KYC) norms / Anti Money Laundering (AML) standards.

4.    AD Category-I banks may also bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned. Authorised Dealers may also give wide publicity to the instructions contained in the A.P. (DIR Series) Circulars referred to above and the Press Releases issued by the Reserve Bank of India dated December 07, 2007 and July 30, 2009 on Fictitious Offers/Lottery Winnings/Cheap Fund Offers (copies enclosed).

5.   The directions contained in this circular have been issued under sections 10(4) and 11 (1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999).

Yours faithfully,

(Salim Gangadharan)
Chief General Manager-in-Charge

Related Press Releases

May 28, 2010 Do Not fall Prey to Fictitious Offers of Funds Transfer: RBI Advisory
Jul 30, 2009 Beware of Fictitious Offers/Lottery Winnings/Cheap Fund Offers: RBI

Dec 07, 2007

RBI cautions Public against Fictitious Offers of Remitting Cheap Funds from Abroad


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