New Delhi: Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has cautioned investors and the public against fraudulent calls being made in the name of regulatory officials to sell financial products and make promotional offers.
The SEBI caution has come amid several instances of fraudsters posing as the regulator's officials to lure investors into their investment schemes.
Investors have been asked by the regulator to be alert against such unauthorised individuals and to immediately lodge a police complaint on receiving such unsolicited calls.
"It has come to the notice of the Securities and Exchange Board of India that certain unidentified persons posing as SEBI officials are advising public, to invest in insurance policy/financial products to avail bonus gifts, promotional offers or other such offers," said a public notice issued by the market regulator.
"SEBI hereby urges the public to remain alert and not to fall prey to such frauds or scams perpetrated by miscreants which impersonate as employees/officers of SEBI," it added.
Further, the regulator said that "if anybody notices such instances, he or she may lodge a police complaint, along with the details of the caller and telephone number from which the call was received, in the local police station".
Similar warnings have been earlier issued by financial sector regulators -- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda).
Irda had warned against calls by certain insurance agents posing as its officials asking the investors to switch their insurance polices for new ones, thus seeking to earn huge commissions.
On the other hand, RBI had come across instances of emails being sent in its name to the people, offering them a 'new online security protection' to reduce fraud and theft in banking systems.
SEBI has in place investor awareness programmes through which it sensitises the public about various capital market issues including grievance redressal mechanism as well as collective investment schemes (CIS).
The market regulator has proposed to carry forward its investor awarness campaigns across the country through the media.