Among many other frauds, here we bring in light yet another devastating fraud which targets retired people who have provident funds account: The PF scam.
To understand this fraud, let’s get some details first.
What are Provident Funds?
It is a scheme by government where you put some percent of your salary in a PF account so you can get it back and use it after your retirement.
It is important to note that, you can only withdraw from your PF account if you are retired after 55 years of age.
I received a call from PF department. Was it a scam?
Yes, I’m barely 23 and I received a call from PF department.
The lady goes, “Hello sir, I’m speaking from the PF department, Delhi. Am I speaking to Mr. Vijay Kale?”
I replied, “No, he is my father. What is the matter?”
She answered, “Sorry, sir. It’s related to your fathers PF account. I cannot share details to you. Can you please hand over the phone to your father?”
I was like, what? My father has a PF account? Let me tell you something, my father has been a proud farmer all his life. And PF is something what only government employees can have.
Also, she called on my personal number, not my father’s number.
I got a little suspicious on what is actually going on. So I searched the internet “PF scam” and the official site showed up, warning users of ongoing fraud.
And guess what? My father had just turned 56. So, I immediately realized who called me.
Maybe, they are randomly calling to confirm if people have PF accounts. Imagine if my father would have a PF account, I would have handed the phone to him.
Let’s dive deep into it.
How does PF scam work?
You receive a call from someone pretending to be an official from PF department.
The spammer asks for your details like, Aadhar card number, your PF account number, etc.
When people give these details to them, they are informed that they have been one of the lucky winners of a new government scheme where they will receive some amount in their bank account.
They will talk you out of it, like how you have been selected from thousands of people and how lucky you are.
Then they use their last trick.
They say, you’ll have to pay us some amount so we can start processing your prize.
Or some even say that you need to close your PF account.
There are a lot of tricks in their sleeves.
Their main target is old people, people who have worked hard their whole life and retired, people who think there is only good in the world.
But let me assure you, we have been surfing internet and finding how spammers are looting people and we are shocked. People have gone to their low.
How to protect your old ones from being spammed?
Information is the biggest weapon you can give them. Inform them about the fraud.
Also, let them know that no government organization in India calls people and asks their personal of financial information.
They are not allowed to do it.
What should you do when you receive such a phone call?
Immediately run to the nearest cyber police station and lodge a complaint.
Don’t tolerate them.
Also, block their number.
Remember, these spammers can go to any level to extort money. So, it’s safe to not let the old ones attain such phone calls.
Information is the best weapon we have against this type of spammers. Like, you have information of spam, you are safe. And when you report a spam to police, they can act against it.
We are trying to bring awareness about ongoing spams through this blog. To stay alert, keep reading our blog regularly. 🙂