Power/Speed Vs Regular Petrol – This is the biggest scam of petrol pumps!

When you go for fill up petrol or diesel in your car/bike, you have an option to fill the normal fuel or high-performance fuel often termed as Speed, Power, Xtra mile, Turbojet or Hi-speed etc in the Indian Petrol pumps.

Today, I will share with you a kind of fraud/scam which is going on in petrol pumps on the name of these high-performance fuels and you will also learn if it’s really useful to use this high-cost version of petrol/diesel in your vehicle or not!

high performance vs normal petrol

Because I educate you on the topic, I want to start with the cheating part first, which happens on the petrol pump!. The reason I am calling it a scam is because it is done with the intention of cheating the customer to make higher profits.

Petrol pumps give you “High-performance fuel” without asking you

Some days back I went to a petrol pump to fill petrol in my car. I kept my eyes wide open and made sure that the meter shows ZERO (read about zero meter scam on petrol pumps here), and no distraction is there and no one scams me.

As I was about to leave, I realized that the nozzle used to fill petrol was kept in the section which said “Speed”. When I enquired if they have filled the high-performance fuel in my car, the answer was YES.

When did I ask WHY? , they said that I should have mentioned that I wanted normal petrol.

So now you know the scam here..

Its common sense that by default petrol pumps should be giving us normal petrol and only if the customer wants/agrees, they should fill high performance/cost fuel. But here, they had made the costly fuel as the default choice and without even telling you they fill costly petrol/diesel in your car/bike.

A customer never pays much attention to which fuel was given to them and assumes that its normal/cheapest version of fuel.

There are many other scams which happen at petrol pumps, but I think is a much bigger scam, because this is so subtle, that almost everyone falls for it (without even knowing about it). Just think about it, even if 5% of people are scammed into buying high-performance fuels, it’s millions of litres and millions of extra revenue/profits for petrol pumps/companies.

What is High-performance fuel?

It’s very important to understand what exactly is high-performance petrol or diesel, to understand the whole game.

Branded high-performance fuels like SPEED and POWER are normal petrol with an extra additive/detergents added into it. These additives enhance theoOctane ratings for petrol.

The Octane rating is the petrol’s capacity to burn at higher compression ratios without knocking. Every engine has a unique compression rating and hence based on the compression rating, the manufacturers suggest the exact type of fuel to be used for the car.

99.99% cars/bikes in India have engines which only and only require normal petrol/diesel because its octane value is the same which is required by the engine of these cars.

In fact, you will be surprised to know that car manufacturer such as Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Toyota, Ford, Skoda, Mercedes, BMW etc. strongly discourage the use of premium fuels in their cars and in fact its also written clearly in the car manual book too. This thread discusses everything about high octane and fuel performance if you want to learn about the topic.

If you also talk to qualified service engineers at the service stations, they also recommend using the normal fuel instead of these high performance versions.

Problems of using high performance fuel in normal car

Can you believe that use of high octane petrol (the costly high performance fuel) actually cause problems in the engine, instead of helping the engine?

If you use petrol which is having a higher octane level than what is recommended, then because of extra additives in the petrol, it is only going to cause unwanted settlement of these additives in the engine – no added benefits in terms of mileage/performance.

If you use petrol having lesser octane than recommended, the petrol will knock and cause damage to engine. Further, the anti-knock sensor will cause the engine to slow-down and the timing of the engine will be wrong causing decreased mileage.

The normal petrol which is available in the market is actually fit for the engines in most of the cars sold in India.

Here is an excerpt from Team-BHP regarding this topic

Some car owners have reported excessive exhaust smoke after using premium diesel. A few others have complained of damage to components in the fuel delivery system, including the fuel injection pump and fuel injectors. Modern common-rail diesel engines operate within fine tolerances.

Your motor was engineered to consume regular diesel only. In the worst case scenario, you might end up with damaged mechanicals due to premium diesel. In the best case, you won’t gain anything. With premium diesel, you have a lot to lose, and nothing to gain.

Video about High-Performance Fuel vs Normal fuel

I want to especially see this video by Mr Amit Khare of fame Ask Carguru Channel, which is an excellent source of all kind of information and knowledge about automobiles in India. A few months back, when I was watching this video, it was new learning for me and I decided that I will write an article about this soon on this blog.

The video is in Hindi and I am a fan of Mr Amit because of his simple language and engaging style of talking. Do listen to the following video for sure.

Why do petrol pumps sell high-performance fuel?

In one word – “High Profits”

Remember, that Petroleum companies and Petrol pumps both are “for-profit” businesses. They are there to make money and they will do all the things which increase their profitability. The petrol and diesel prices are regulated in India and no petroleum companies can decide the price of fuel on its own.

However, they can always decide the price of enhanced fuel because it’s their own formula and they are free to price it. Petrol pumps also get better margins when they sell high-performance fuels.

High-performance fuels can cost anywhere from 3-4% higher than normal fuels. In some cases, very high-performance fuels can be even 20% costly.

At the time of writing this article, the price of petrol/ltr in Mumbai was like this

Normal Petrol: ₹ 84.67

Speed : ₹ 87.48

Speed 97 : ₹ 105.01

Which means that by selling high-performance fuels, the profits which these companies profit margins can literally shoot up by a big percentage. No wonder why they never share the secret.

When should you fill high-performance fuels in your car?

Very simple, if you have a car/bike which has a high-performance high-compression engine such as BMW / AUDI and superbike’s, then you can use those costly fuels and they will actually perform better also, but otherwise you should just stick to normal fuel only.

Do let us know if you liked this article and if it helped you to break your myth about high-performance fuels. Also if you have anything to add into this article, do let us know in the comments section.

How Rs 3,700 crore online fraud happened with with 7 lacs investors !

A new online fraud worth Rs 3,700 crores has been busted recently by Uttar Pradesh special task force. Around 7 lacs people have been cheated in the name of ‘Earn Rs 5 per click’ investment scheme.

This was a classic example of a very smart online fraud structure where you first make a lump sum investment in the company scheme, and you get a chance to earn a daily income by liking facebook pages. You can also add people under you (more money comes in the company) and you get benefits from that.

Structure wise it’s very similar to speakasia where you earned money by taking the survey’s and here you get it by click on the pages.

A company was set up with the name of “Ablaze Info” whose board of directors named Anubhav Mittal, Shreedhar Prasad, and Mahesh Dayal are arrested. They had set up various websites to dupe people like socialtrade.biz, freehub.com, intmaart.com, frenzzup.com.

How this scheme worked?

There were 4 schemes where you had to pay a joining fee ranging from Rs 5750 to Rs 57,500 and you got X number of clicks each day which assured you get Rs 5 for each click, making sure you get a monthly income.

social trade online fraud

There was also a bonus for adding more people under you (2 people) and some more benefits apart from that. It was a classic case, where few people join the scheme, get the assured income for 1-2 months and by then they bring more people by word of mouth, who bring more money in a company which makes sure that the fraud company has more money to pay everyone …

This continues for a few months/years and once there are thousands of people at the bottom who brought millions in the company, that’s the time when the company either runs away with all the money or they are caught by the law as it happened in this case.

Members trying to add other members

Every MLM scheme works on the basis of referrals and most of the people were trying to add others under them to get the bonus and added benefits which come out of referrals.

People started approaching their friends and other relatives to join this “business” and you can see in the video below how one of the people who was part of this is explaining the business model and is so convinced about it himself.

Why most people get duped in these kinds of fraud schemes?

You will find a lot of people who still believe in this kind of schemes mostly because they are not duped themselves and have experienced earning income consistently from these companies, but that is true for a small minority of people who join this fraud business early, because that’s the time when the company properly pays money without fail

The problem happens when the user base is quite big (in this case, 7 lacs) and then it becomes almost impossible to sustain the madness. Here is how the MLM business looks like

In the video below you can see how this one guy is so convinced about the authenticity of this social trade business and feels that the crackdown on the company because govt can’t sees poor people earning lots of money.

Do you know anyone who was cheated by Social trade company? What do you think about these kinds of MLM schemes?

5 kind of online frauds, where investors have lost their money

A few months back I got a call from an NGO based in Delhi. They were trying to help a small baby, which was a critical medical condition and needed immediate medical help and they were generating the money from all over India. Even there were social media campaigns around it. The girl talking to me told me its an urgent matter and how as a citizen, my help could mean a lot to the poor child.

various types of online fraud where investors have lost there money

I told her, she can mail me the details, so that I can look at what I can do from my side. After 1 hour, when I typed the NGO name and it turned out to be a big fraud campaign, which was widespread and many people reported their complaint.

But this was just one example. There are so many areas where various kind of frauds are going on all over the country and many uneducated people who do not understand the online world fall for it and lose their money. This is worst than mis-selling at times because in mis-selling you get bad returns or your money is stuck, but in these kinds of frauds you lose all the money forever. So I want to share some tricks used by people to do online frauds and their modus operandi. Here they are –

Fraud #1 – Fake Job Offer

Millions of people are unemployed in India and that has given birth to this job offer scam. In this, you get an email offer from a reputed company which invites you for their interview. You see all kind of numbers, venue, last date etc, and then you see a line mentioning that you need to deposit a security deposit or some basic fees, which will be refunded later.

Given so much of unemployment, a lot of people fall for this trick. The emails look very genuine when you read it, as it contains the company logo, or it might be on the letterhead of the company, but when you dive deeper and check the email id from which it was sent or the website link, you can figure out that something is wrong. Below is one such mail.

Fake job offer

Remember that no company in its senses will ever ask you to deposit any kind of money with them for an interview. Below is an example of how people lose such a big amount in these kinds of fraud offers.

Cybercrime police in Bangalore, India have busted a fraudulent on-line job racket offering nurses jobs in the UK and arrested five persons including two Nigerians. The accused had cheated a nurse to the tune of Rs11 lakh by promising her a job at the Ealing Hospital there.

The nurse had responded to the email job offer at the Ealing hospital in UK by sending her CV and educational certificates. The accused subsequently got in touch with the victim on her telephone and asked her to remit money for anti-terrorism and drug trafficking safety certificates, WHO immunization insurance and skilled immigration permit certificates.

The victim remitted Rs 11,03,500 to different bank accounts as suggested provided by the accused before she realized she had been conned by the gang of fraudsters when she stopped getting responses from the accused.

Fraud #2 – Help a child in an Emergency situation

This is what I was talking about at the start of this article.

Just search for the term “relief India trust scam” and you will see how many people got a call from this so-called NGO claiming to raise money for medical treatment of some needy baby. I got a call myself 2-3 times, and every time I kept investigating the issue to understand how they work. When I enquired about their Registration number, they even gave me that, but then it’s not a big deal. You can always start an NRO with bad intention.

They were extremely pushy and didn’t have a lot of supportive information regarding their claim. There are many other scams going on in the name of helping someone. It can be on helping a poor girl education or for the treatment of a kid, who has no one in the family.

They even go to an extent of telling you that the baby is on the ventilator and the surgery is in the next 30 minutes. You often see this in train’s also where a lady comes with a pamphlet asking for help. I am seeing that same thing from last 30 yrs in sleeper class. Even I see the same thing on some buses.

Coming back to the online version of fraud Here is two such experience from this website

relief india trust scam

I don’t want to paint all the NGO’s with the same brush. There are many good NGO’s also, they are doing good work, but many NGO’s have sprouted up, only to take advantage of these kinds of situations and exploit emotions of people to make money.

Fraud #3 – I am calling from IRDA

This is a well-known scam these days. Almost every investor has some or the other kind of insurance policies, especially from LIC. So these fraudsters give a call to you and ask you about your policy and tell you that they are calling from IRDA and you are eligible for some bonus after many years and in order to get your bonus you will have to either send some money or buy some policy again.

A lot of times, they have some more details about you and your policy and they look genuine at times. And many investors fall for these scams. Here is an advertisement which cautions investor’s about it

You can also listen to some sample audio calls which was recorded by some investors. You can listen to them and see the tricks used by them to cheat and fool investors.

Fraud #4 – Verification Call from Bank using OTP

This might be a new thing for many investors. In this fraud, the target is generally uneducated investors who are not that much educated or who are very new to internet banking. The fraudster poses them as a bank verification officer and gets all the information like debit card number, expiry date, CVV number, and even OTP number while doing the online transaction parallelly.

This recently happened with one of my friend’s father who lives in Patna. His father was not that well versed with internet banking and used to do all his transactions in offline mode. So naturally, he was not aware of how the system works. One day he gets a call which goes like this

Fraudster : Hello , Mr PQR.  I am XYZ calling from SBI bank . Your name is on our records who recently got a debit card. We are seeing some suspicious activity in your account recently, so this is a verification call to make sure that the debit card is in the actual account holder name.

Friends Dad : Oh ok .. What needs to be done to secure my account ?

Fraudster : Please verify your debit card number and the expiry date . It would be written on the card.

Friends Dad : (shares the numbers)

Fraudster : If you check on the back of card, there is a 3 digit number, its called CVV number. Please share it with me. Is it printed there ?

Friends Dad : Yes, its there .. Its 645

Fraudster : Ok , I have initiated the verification, I am now sending a 6 digit code to your registered mobile number, share that with me and then delete the sms. Please dont share it with anyone else

Friends Dad : Yea, I got it just now .. its 745523

Fraudster : Ok great , you will get a sms in sometime informing you about the verification success .. I am now disconnecting the call. Thanks for your time

Friends Dad : Thanks ..

( After 30 seconds …. there comes an sms )

"Dear Customer , Your Ac XXXXXXXXX567 is debited with INR 24,500 on 27th Apr .. Your available balance is INR 34,000"

The real story?

What happened in the background, is that the fraudster tried to make an online transaction on some website, which required a debit card number, expiry, and CVV number. After that, an OTP is required, which comes to the registered mobile number. Note that the modus operandi might deviate a bit, but the point is the same.

The fraudster tries to show himself as a bank verification officer and asks for all the details. I know you and I might quickly judge that this is a fraud call, but millions of people who are from a rural background or from past generations cannot.

Because first, they don’t understand the online world and the new way of banking which has come into the picture in the last 10 yrs and they are sometimes quite afraid of making a mistake. When they are told that their account is compromised and their money is at risk, they take wrong decisions in haste. Below is another real-life example of this kind of fraud

banking fraud using otp

Hence, make sure you never share your card with anyone or share its details like CVV number of ATM pin. A lot of people do it in Restaurants and Petrol pumps. 99.9% of times, nothing happens, but we are talking about that 0.1% times when things can get nasty.

Fraud #5 – Please verify your bank details (Phishing)

It’s a very common kind of fraud in the online world. It’s called Phishing, which aims to steal your sensitive data like username, password or card details. You get an email asking you to verify your account or details, failing which your account will be closed.

When you click on the link, it takes you to the website which looks exactly similar to your bank or card company, you enter your details thinking that it’s your bank website only. But in reality, it’s a fraud website which captures your sensitive information, which later is used to do transactions and you lose the money. Below is a youtube video explaining how it works.

Here is an example of an email which I got on the name of SBI bank.

SBI fake mail

So make sure you do not fall for any kind of emails asking for your sensitive details like the password or PIN number. No bank asks for it ever.

Even I have received fraud call from a guy stating to be RBI Officer. He claimed that my bank account will be closed because it is not linked with my Aadhaar number. Fortunately, I recorded the call because I knew that he was trying to fool me so that he can know my card details. To win my trust he made his senior also talk to me.

How to prevent yourself from getting trapped in these situations? 

From the last 10 yrs, this kind of online frauds has increased because the whole world has moved to the web and all kind of transactions are now online. It’s important to be attentive to your actions and with whom are you interacting.

  1. You will never receive a phone from RBI or Other banks for reasons such an Aadhaar not linked etc.. Please be aware that if there is any recent activity such as if you have deposited some cheque then you might receive a call if bank officials want some information regarding the cheques. Otherwise, no calls from banks for any backdated activity.
  2. Never share your card number, CVV number, OTP etc.. to anyone.
  3. Download Truecaller in your phone. So if you receive a call from an unknown number who is asking your bank account details then you can check the number in Truecaller. Truecaller will tell you if this number is spam or not and if it shows to be spam then block the number.

Have you come across any other kind of online frauds other than listed above?

New Fraud by Agents – Changing Policy tenures from “Single Premium” to “Yearly”

Today, I wish to highlight a fraud, which has been going on for many years, but one that has not received enough attention. While the fraud itself is small and easy to conduct, its impact on investor wealth is significant.

What is exactly is the Fraud ?

Many investors, who wish to deposit money in some financial product as a ONE-TIME payment, opt for a ‘Single Premium’ policy. Here they are required to just pay the premium fee once, and the policy carries on for many years after that.

The mistake some investors make, is that they convey these instructions verbally to their agent and do not fill up the form themselves. Neither they do verify the tenure filled by the agent. Now what many unscrupulous agents do, is that instead of ‘Single Premium’, they specify ‘Regular Premium (or yearly) as the payment scheme – leading to a situation where the investor has to pay the same premium amount every year for many years thereafter.

beware of agents filling up form

What are the possible problems which happens ?

  • The premium amount is quite substantial at times. People can’t afford that sum each year and subsequently have to discontinue the policy
  • Investors remain unaware about the tenure of the policy and stay under the assumption that they do not have to pay any more money. However, the policy lapses after a year due to non-payment (If the investor does not have an email id, they do not even get premium reminder emails)
  • Even if investors come to know about the changed tenure, they need to run around from pillar to post just to cancel the policy – suffering the consequences of a problem which should never have been theirs to begin with
  • This whole experience shatters their faith in agents/ companies and leads them to avoid other agents in the future, even good ones.
  • There is a massive emotional impact as investors see this as a breach of trust and at times they lose their hard earned money – funds which thy might have set aside for some dream project!

3 real life examples of how investors were cheated by agents by changing the Tenure

There are several readers on this blog, who shared their real life experience in the comments section on how they were cheated and lost their money and peace of mind. I just want to make you aware of these experiences. Read on below.

Example #1 – How Mr. Syed Jibran cheated by people at HDFC Bank

Through the HDFC bank, I told the concern person to deduct the amount of Rs 200000/= from my saving account and consider as the single premum only, as i cant pay the amount of rs 200000/= every year. But later I come to know that they have consider my premium as the regular premium. Next day I sent the mail to head office, not to process my application and refund the same amount in my saving account.

I got the call from head office, that they cannot process to cancel my application, as they required in written cancellation letter . I agreed with team, but this is not at all my fault. Yesterday, I got a mail mentioning that there are free-look charges. This mail shocked me – even your agent cheats me, but you charges me. I send you many mails not to proceed my case and refund the same amount in my account. you can check that????????????????

Example #2 – How Naresh policies were Lapsed because he was cheated

One of my relative taken policy from Religare insurance broking ltd before 5-6 years ago with kotak-3 lacks, birla-8 & 5 Lacks as one time premium, now they are saying that the policy was regular premium plans and that is lapsed. sir now my relative want his money back.what should he do now.pls help.

Example #3 – How Reliance Life Insurance agents cheated Mr Ashok

We discussed with Reliance Life Insurance , Senior Sales Manager Mr Amit Khandelwal that we need single premium policy , he has taken our signature on application form and advised us not to fill the forms saying that “ form is complicated and likely to be filled wrongly by you consequently form will be rejected , better I will fill up the forms , as discussed , we are doing day in out this. “

Later on , he filled up the forms in his own handwriting, he has given his own home address and the worst thing he did he has filled up regular premium payment of 5,00,00/- for 5 years despite that we decided for single premium.

Return of policies was not possible for us as we have received policies very late , much beyond 15 days free look period , as policies were dispatched to Sr Sales Mgr address.

Even after this Reliance letter , I was keep on getting phones from local Indore office that we are discussing your case with our HO Mumbai , but off-late nothing has happened as yet. It is a clear case of mis-selling , breach of trust, fraud and forgery by Reliance Life Insurance. Reliance Life has terminated policies and Fund value is 50%.

Why is this fraud done by Agents ?

Frankly, it’s just because they earn higher commissions through this ploy. Agents earn meager commissions on “single premium” policies, but on yearly premiums they stand to reap much higher rewards.

single vs yearly premium difference

For example – For pension plans, the single premium commission is capped at 2% (that too one time only), however if it is a regular premium, the commission would be 7.5% for first year premium and 2% in subsequent years. Which means that if a person buys a pension plan with Rs 1 lac premium, for a Single premium policy, the agent will get 2,000 rupees, whereas if he cheats the customer and puts “regular” as the premium tenure, then he will get 7,500 rupees in first year and 2,000 in next year premium (provided it is paid by the investor).

Also on various other life insurance policies like endowment and moneyback plans, the first year premium is as high as 35-40%. So why would an agent settle for just 2% premium as commission, when he can take 20-40% of the premium (which is 10-20 times original commission)

How to save yourself from this fraud?

Here are some simple common sense tips which will work

  • Never ever let the agent fill up the form; you should always fill up the form yourself.
  • If you can’t fill the form for some reason, let the agent fill it in front of you, and once he is done, review each point filled by him. Take photocopies of the filled form for your reference
  • If you still sense that the agent is being dishonest, return the policy in the free-look up period which is generally 15 days from the date when you receive the policy in your hand
  • Email the management and customer care and tell them you will be complaining to banking ombudsman and grievance cell about this and also file a police complaint on fraud.

I invite suggestions from our readers on what solutions are possible if someone becomes a victim of such a fraud?

How you are cheated at Petrol Pump and lose money on every visit ?

Today I am going to explain a trick employed by Petrol Pump guys which might be costing you a lot of money on a per year basis. You might be loosing a couple of thousands each year because of this scam which probably goes on at each petrol pump.

Petrol Pump Scam in India

How Fraud at Petrol Pump Works!

When you ask them to fill petrol for Rs 1,000 , the attendant fills up the oil only for Rs 200 . When you ask him why he didnt fill up for Rs 1,000 . He will give a innocent smile and say that he heard Rs 200 and he will fill remaining Rs 800 , he resets the meter and fills up another Rs 800 petrol and you pay Rs 1,000 (200+800).

Whats the scam here ? The problem is that he never resets the meter to 0 , he continues from the Rs 200 point itself and go till Rs 800 , so in reality you only get the petrol worth Rs 800, but pay Rs 1,000 . The trick here is that when he says that he is resetting the meter to 0 and moves towards it, at that some moment, another team mate of attendant will disturb you with some question like – “Sir, Cash or Card?” , or “Sir, PUC karana hai kya?” , Or “Sir can you fill up this coupon ?” .

As a human tendency – you will have to look at him or hear him and in those 3-4 seconds , the main attendent will start the meter again and by the time you look at the meter, its somewhere near 300-400 , and you feel that the meter has restarted starting from 0 , but actually it was just continued from 200 point only. So you loose Rs 200 here.

how petrol pump fraud works in India

I would like to show you some of the real life experiences

Experience 1

Today I went on a 150Km trip to Kanchipuram. Because it was a long trip I decided to check the mileage of my car, so did not fill petrol at a regular pump and waited for the fuel indicator to sync with a marking. I reset the trip meter and filled petrol at the next petrol pump which was an Indian Oil pump in Pallavaram on the left while going towards Tambaram. I told the cashier that I wanted petrol for Rs.500 and took out the money from my purse and handed it to the cashier. When I looked at the guy at the pump, he told me that he had filled the petrol and wanted me to verify.

The meter showed Rs.200, so I told the guy that I asked for Rs.500, but I sensed something wrong. I was sure when he filled the next 300 from the time it took for it that he had not filled anything to start with as he showed me the meter too soon. I wasn’t sure about what to do in that position and left. It was obvious when I checked the mileage that the guy had cheated. I could go for a distance of only 52Kms with that petrol and the mileage for Rs.500 of petrol with that distance is 7.5Kmpl. Whereas if I take it as Rs.300, the mileage is 12.5Kmpl which is within the expected range. Moreover I filled for another Rs.500 at Kancheepuram and the mileage I got is 12.7Kmpl and the fuel indicator is still above the mark. I have been driving since 2001 and this is the first time something like this has happened to me. (Source)

Experience 2

At the first petrol dispensing counter (as you enter the petrol pump), the attendants frequently cheat customers. You ask them to fill, say, Rs.100 worth of petrol. However clearly you say it, one employee will fill only Rs.50 worth of petrol in just about 2 seconds when another employee tries to distract you. Within a blink of an eye, the counter goes from Rs. 0 to Rs.50. When you tell him that you’d asked for Rs.100 worth of petrol, he will apologize saying he didn’t hear it properly, and fill the remaining Rs.50 worth. The second Rs.50 petrol will take about 5-10 seconds to fill. You finally end up paying Rs.100 and getting petrol worth far less than that.

This has happened a few times with me and some friends. The cheating procedure has always been the same although the amounts differ. I know for sure that I’ve been cheated because my bike gives me a mileage of about 50km/litre normally, but when these incidents happen, I get far less mileage than this.. (Source)

How to Complain for this Petrol Pump Fraud?

IF you feel you are cheated, you can complain about this fraud to the petrol pump company like HPCL, BPCL or IOC. You have customer care numbers of these companies and also web portals for registering complaints online explaining them the exact issue (it can be various issues).

HPCL Web Portal – http://retailcms.hpcl.co.in/retailcms/registeruserissue.aspx
HPCL Customer Care Phone – 155233 / 1800 2333 555

BPCL Web Portal – http://ebiz.bpc.co.in/ccs/complaintCreation.faces?form1:sbu=1000
BPCL Customer Care Phone – 155233/ 1800222725

IOC Web Portal/Customer Care – https://www.iocl.com/TollFreeCellNumber.aspx

Some other things you can do other than complaining

  • Also ask for complaint book from the attendant, and put the written complaint in that complaint book. Most of the times they will make an excuse that the complaint book is locked in the room or something like that, tell them you are calling the company customer care and will complain about them
  • Make sure you ask them to meet the outlet manager, ask for their phone numbers if they are not present and try to talk to them, make the scene
  • Make the scene, scream at them and be tough if you are very sure you are duped and lost the money. In front of other customers they are bound to correct their mistake
  • Open you fuel lid, only when the meter is reset to 0 .
  • Get out of your CAR and stand next to the person putting fuel, makes it tougher for them to cheat you


This is happening all over the country of various petrol pump outlets and this can easily be a scam worth thousands of crores rupees, provided there are thousands of petrol pumps in country and millions fill up petrol everyday. The best measure to fight against this is to spread this information to more and more people you know and also be attentive and alert while you are filling up petrol or diesel in your vehicle.

Have you ever come across this fraud has it happened with you ?

How EPF Fraud of 100 crore was done from Inactive accounts?

In the last few days, there is news that some EPFO employees have done fraud and siphoned off Rs 21 crores from some EPF account.

How was this EPF fraud done?

So the fraud was done on those EPF accounts which belonged to small companies which are inactive from 2006 and there were some checks and balances which were not done for those old accounts. Another thing they did is that they only withdraw 2-3 lacs because it does not for any kind of audit (it happens above 5 lacs withdrawal).

This was done by few employees of the Mumbai office and one of the clerks was the mastermind for this. Around  8 people have been suspended already and it points out that a bigger fraud may be in place. More investigations are going on right now!

Apart from the above recent incident, I also want to share with you some more incidents which have happened in past.

I am going to share some startling facts today about EPF Frauds that have recently come to light and have been written about and highlighted in the press. And it is highly likely that some of you who are reading this article might be victims of this fraud – just that you are unaware of the fact at the moment.

Fraud Withdrawal’s from EPF accounts

Sanjay Kumar is the Chief Vigilance Officer at EPFO and on 7th Oct 2013, a circular was issued to all the EPFO establishments of all regions in the country with the subject- “Fraudulent withdrawal from the account of EPFO by furnished forged statutory returns”.

The letter talked about scammers making fraudulent withdrawals from various EPF accounts by submitting forged bank accounts and KYC details/documents. It also mentioned that EPF officials had colluded with these scammers and helped them withdraw money from Provident Fund accounts – especially ones that were inoperative (no activity on those accounts) and/or where the employer no longer existed (closed or shutdown).

I have paraphrased below important excerpts from the circular

Point 2. The investigation has revealed that the fraud was committed mainly in respect of those establishments where remittances had not been received for many years, records not updated and the establishment had not submitted statutory returns. Further no pre-coverage or post-coverage inspections were carried out of the firms and no claims were received or settled since long,” it said.

Point 3. The investigation has revealed that the fraudsters had submitted forged/fabricated returns viz . Form 3A/6A, 9(R), Specimen Signature Cards and therefore, Submitted fictitious claims in the name of original members of non-members. The claims were settled by putting pressure on dealing hands/office by all possible means.

You might be aware of multiple cases where investors face a slew of obstacles while withdrawing their Employee Provident Fund money. At times, it takes years before they get any status of their EPF money and even when a payout is made, cheques go missing or are sent to the wrong address. So, it doesn’t require much imagination to see how in the wrong hands the cheques can be cashed simply by opening a fake bank account.

Here is an incident where an EPF investor faced the issue

Preliminary investigations revealed that there had been huge withdrawals and transfers of money from the individual fund accounts of a number of school employees without their consent and knowledge,” they added. “An FIR was registered and investigations were initiated by a special investigation team. During the investigation, it came to light that funds were withdrawn by the treasurer of the school by forging signatures of the principal and staff members,” police said.  (Source)

Some Numbers

To put things in context, we are not talking about a few isolated fraud cases or few crore rupees here. The actual scale of the fraud is mind-boggling and will cause you sleepless nights.

Consider this – as on April 2011, there were close to 8.15 crore EPF accounts, out of which 3.14 crores EPF accounts were dormant with a balance of close to 16,000 crore rupees. Of these 3.14 crore dormant accounts, 2.5 crore accounts had a negative balance, which meant that they did not have any money in them (money had been totally withdrawn!).

EPF withdrawal fraud on fake names

How does EPF Fraud work?

Let’s talk about the modus operandi of the fraudsters in detail, so that you can understand the loopholes in the EPFO system. Note that this whole fraud is highlighted mainly for dormant accounts, especially those where the employer does not exist now. However, it would not surprise me if frauds started to happen even on active accounts anytime soon.

So here are the steps that are taken by fraudsters

Step 1 – Identify a dormant EPF account

The first step is to find out all the details of the dormant EPF account. If you have some money to spend on bribes or lots of time and patience to search the Internet, you can get all the information you want. The Internet abounds with people who have given their EPF numbers, names and addresses without realizing the risk they are exposing themselves to.

Also if you have the money, you can quite easily bribe officials and get information. A dormant EPF account is one that does not get any fresh contributions for 36 months. At times the employer depositing the money in the EPF account closes operations and now the EPF account is totally orphaned and the money is sitting idle.

The EPF holder is either in another job waiting for that perfect moment when he will start the withdrawal or transfer process or he is working outside India and has totally forgotten to take action on his EPF account. It may also be that the money in the EPF account is such a trivial amount that he/she does not bother to do much about it.

Step 2 – Open a bank account with Forged details

The fraudster’s next step is to open a bank account with forged details and prepare a PAN card, address proof etc. In an environment, where obtaining fake passports or completely forged educational degrees is child’s play, it’s no stretch to assume that it would be easy to get fake KYC documents made.

Step 3 – Apply for Withdrawal of Claims with forged identity

After all the documents and identity are set, one just has to fill up a withdrawal claim while posing as the target of the intended fraud. If the company depositing the money in the EPF account is now non-existent, then EPFO relies on the bank branch to confirm the authenticity of the bank account (as per the Livemint article)

In any event, the structure of EPFO is not centralized i.e. each state has its own EPFO department and things are controlled locally. Therefore there are different EPF account numbers for the same person and different EPF accounts opened at different intervals. Even the process followed at each step is not extraordinary but rather the same old rotten way of doing things.

If there are issues at some stage, it has been found that insiders have been influenced and helped to pass the claims (as per the EPFO circular itself). There is no wonder that bribes are given and taken and things are bent. Here is proof below

The RTI reply also revealed that at least 1,350 EPFO employees have had corruption charges against them in the past five years. Of this, 450 are from the officer grade. Most of these officers have been accused of misusing power and colluding with companies to turn a blind eye to their wrongdoings. And every year, more and more such officers are coming under the scanner.

Confirming the trend, DL Sachdeva, a member of the EPFO board, said it would be next to impossible for any company to siphon off money without the help of EPFO officials. (Source)

EPF fraud modus operandi

What you should do now?

If you have an old EPF account that needs attention, you should ensure you withdraw the money or transfer it to your current EPF account. Make certain that you only have one single active EPF account running.

Do not leave it unattended for extended periods or else be ready to face unpleasant surprises in the future. If you need any information or need to move things forward, use the RTI application to the EPFO department and things will move quickly. Also, make sure you take general precautions like not revealing your EPF number and other details in public without a strong reason.

Please share your views on this topic and EPFO in general in the comments section below?

Beware of Fake Email Scams asking for password & Critical information – Its a trap !

Some days back one of our readers forwarded an email to me, which he got in the name of SBI Bank and it was about some new scheme or feature launched. All he had to do was login to his account by clicking on the LINK given inside the email. He asked me over the email if this mail was genuine or fake ? You can see the snapshot of the email below.

Fake Email on SBI bank

I looked at the email and instantly sensed that this was some kind of fraud email, just to get hold of the login details of the mail receiver. In this article I want to cover few points which will teach you more about these kind of fake emails and some important points, so that you are not duped in future and are alert.

3 common things you will notice in Fake Emails

There are few common traits of most of the fake fruad emails you will recieve, you should notive these 3 points in those emails.

1. The email id used looks authentic, but it’s NOT

One of the most common trick used in fake emails, is that the email id used by them looks very authentic, but if you enquire a bit about it, you will find out that they are fake and just gives an impression of being authentic. For example , if you get an email from SBI Bank and the email id is “[email protected]”, at first you might get fooled that the email is really form SBI bank, but if you go to google and and search for SBI Bank website, you will come to know that its sbi.co.in or onlinesbi.com, but the email has come from a different place. You should check the website of the fake email id (in this case – sbi-bank.com) and you will come to know that either it does not exist or looking at the website, you will figure out that its Fake.

I can share a real life example of this. My brother faced this fake email some months back. He was searching for a job and he got an email from Larson & Toubro company, that his resume was shortlisted and he has to attend an interview, but he had to give a security deposit of some amount (around Rs 8,000) which he will be refunded back after the interview.

The moment I heard this, I knew this is some fake email, because no company asks anything like that. I asked him to search for larson & toubro website and  it we landed on www.larsentoubro.com/‎ . However the email came from profile@larsentoubroltd.com/‎ (extra ltd word in email), when we went to that website (the fake one) it did’nt exist. When we searched on internet about it, we got so many threads about about it and how they lost money.

Given our country has so much of unemployment, and so many people are looking for jobs, its easy to dupe them and run this kind of rackets. Infact people make millions through these kind of fake emails. Below is the email which my brother got for interview, you can notice how unprofessional the email sounds.

Fake email for Job Offer india

Note – Many times, you will also receive emails coming from the original sites and web-address, but even there is a trick for that, if you use 3rd party email sending software’s, you can fake your email id. You will notive in your email that the mail came “via” another server.

2. The target website link inside the email does not look authentic

A lot of times, inside the fake email you have a link to click, it takes you to some target website and you have to fill some personal details. In reality, the website is a fake one, which looks real visually, but on the backend its a fake one. This is called as PHISHING Trick, which steals your important login details and misuse later. So always make sure that you have all the important links written down or saved as bookmarks in your browsers.

3. The mail asks for PASSWORD or some critical information

If you see all the fake emails, one common thing you will notice is that these emails scare on some point and create some kind of emergency. It can be regarding some new change, new scheme, last date for something, It might say that the server was compromised and they are just asking for proof and things like those.

Always remember that banks or institutions do not ask for these kind of things over email. Passwords are never asked by anyone over email for sure. At times fake emails use name of RBI and Income Tax department so that people take it seriously because there is some kind of fear attached with it (ohh …. its email from Tax department, better I take it seriously). Checkout the Video below which explains about the RBI Email Scam !

Common Traits of the Fake Emails and the Websites

If you look at the fake emails and their websites (the link inside the email). You will notice that they have very bad grammar, no professional look and they ask for some stupid thing to be done which does not look natural. Like some of your friend in Hawaii, who is robbed and now needs $400 to come back to India and will give back your money later, such kind of emails come from hacked emails of some of your friends.

Also check – FAKE Calls on name of IRDA

When do Fake Emails Arrive ?

These fake emails can come anytime to you, but note that the frequency of mails increases, when some important event is nearby like income tax season, or income tax filing season or when some major law has changed, so that people can relate to fake emails.

What’s your thought on this matter and have you ever got an email asking you to click on a link and provide some critical information? And what did you do in that case ? Can you share ?

The Scam called “Sample Flat” – Learn how builders trap property buyers

One of the biggest traps for real estate buyers are “Sample Flats”. When you visit properties sites to inquire about any under construction properties or ready for possession flats, the builder or the sales person there shows you a “Sample Flat”. The moment you look at a sample flat, something happens to you. The sample flat is so beautiful and mesmerizing that, you feel like you are in love again, some kind of beautiful music starts playing in your head and for a moment, you visualize the future with your family living within that same sample flat and how you and your loved one’s are enjoying the ambiance and premiumness the sample flat offers.

You are delighted !

But – This is trap, set by Builder

Sample Flat Example

Why you get trapped ? 

Because you are human, you have emotions and you have lots of dreams for your family and yourself. Because in this competitive society, you have to grab your share of status and show to the world, that your time has come finally! .

Builders know how to exploit the human psyche and how to manipulate your aspirations. Every person wants to give himself and his family the best housing and the most spacious and premium living conditions – a fact, well known to the builder. When they create sample flat, all these things are kept in mind and the sample flat is constructed in a manner that makes you fall in love with it at the first sight. The builder’s goal is to ensure that your emotional mind is activated and prevents your rational mind from questioning things or think hard. You should be hypnotized! . Check out this guy sharing how his builder did not fulfill his promise

Lets look at 2 important points you know should be aware about the so called sample flats, which can save you from potential disappointment some time in future when you hunt for your dream home.

Trick #1 – Sample Flats are created to look more “Spacious”

Everyone wants a big house at a lower cost. Given there are 4-6 people in family on an average and lots of belongings in home, a bigger house is always preferred than a smaller one. You should have space for all the things you have at home, without making your home look cluttered. So few tricks are used to make sure that the sample flat looks more spacious artificially! . Here are they

  • There are no doors in toilets and bathrooms, and some of the walls are merely glass partitions, which creates a visual illusion of more space.
  • There are no doors between rooms in a sample flat, which makes the flat appear more spacious than it really is.
  • The ceiling is much higher than the real flat and is just increases the volume of sample flat, thus giving a feel of space.
  • The lighting using in sample flat is suggested by interior designers, who are experts in creating optical illusions.
  • The furniture used in sample flat is kept smaller, so that in comparison the rooms and kitchen looks bigger.
  • Even the other things like bed, almira’s and dining table in kitchen are placed in such a way and are of smaller size, to give a feeling of more space.
  • The walls are much thinner in sample flat, compared to the real flat, which again gives more spacing. They are known to use gypsum boards and not the real cemented wall.

What you should do ?

Once you visit a sample flat, the first thing you should do is slow down and stop yourself from getting biased by the spacious feel of it. For a moment, consciously tell yourself that you know its not reality and a kind of trap (remember 3 idiots – “All is well, All is well”) . Visualize the furniture, bed, kitchen belongings, all the almira’s you own at home. Your Sofa, your TV, your Waching machine and Refridgerator and every thing you own and ask where will you keep it ? Also consider those new things you might buy before moving to new property ?

If you are seriously considering buying a house, then actually mark places where you will keep what and check the space it will take (mentally atleast) . Seek help from ladies at home, because they have a better understanding of minor details and can tell you, if the flat will be able to accommodate everything with higher accuracy (and in most of the cases, women are anyways more bothered for those things compared to men).

Note that rather than blaming builder on using these tactics and fooling you, I would suggest being self-reliant, as there is nothing illegal in what the builder has done. Yes, its kind of unethical and the tricks employed here, are just a way of exploiting human psychology and aspirations. But then, there is no law on all these points and anyways, the agreement will mention that the sample flat was just for demonstration purposes and the look and feel of the actual flat may be a little different. I want you to be prepared for this, rather than complaining about things.

Here is one real life experience I found on the net, which talks about the same thing we are discussing here

At the time of booking Builder shown a central park as well as a very huge green area (80% of the project), the same is also shown/mentioned in the Brochure given to me during the time of booking. He also showed a sample flat and did a sale agreement with me.

Now builder is constructing three new towers on the park area and also cutting down the green area as he is coming up with another project on the same green land – Source here

Trick #2 – Sample Flats gives the feeling of PREMIUM

Who does not want a premium and beautiful home? Everyone does!

We want our house to be better than others, we want to make sure we get the best. We aspire to live in premium homes (majority of them, if you dont). Builders do their homework properly and put all their efforts in making sure that the sample flat looks the way most of the people cant actually afford!.

I mean to say that every bit of work, furniture, finishing and material used are expensive and of very high quality and high standards. In many cases, the cost incurred in making the sample flat look premium is more than the cost of the flat itself (Imagine 50 lacs flat having 50 lacs of premium things inside it, just to make it look premium).

  • The fixtures and furnishing used are of world class quality and brand and is so premium that instantly a prospective buyer imagines him selves owning it.
  • The floor tiles used are of high quality and more beautiful than what you get in reality.
  • The view you get from Balcony and Windows is really great (lake view, greenery, beautiful mountains), but in reality your flat might be on the other side of the project, which has all the old buildings and has a crowded road (may be after some years) and you will not get the same view which you saw in sample flat. This is because the sample flat is created first and the location chosen for it is well planned and for the purpose 🙂
  • The furniture used in the sample flat is very expensive and promises high lifestyle. Imagine 5-6 lacs worth of Sofa set, whereas you will buy only 50k worth of sofa in your case.
  • The walls will have beautiful paintings which most of people want, but cant afford .

Tip – This startup called ArtSquare sells ART and Paintings at affordable price to common man. Boy! , they also have the feature which shows you, how it looks on the wall. check out this example.

Difference between Sample flat and real flat

What to do ?

Incase of under-construction property, you cant do much, you can only rely on the builder words and do some research on how truthful they are by talking to their old project buyers (actually go there, and talk to some flat owners about their experience). Before booking the flat, you need to get all information from builder on the materials going to be used, which brand they will be, what kind of wall paint , which fittings ? which wires ? what kind of tiles ? everything in detail ! .

Note that, you are going to get unfurnished flat, and then you have to put everything from fan, AC, bed, sofa and everything else you have at home. So its important to check out the unfurnished flat apart from sample flat, but its possible only when you are buying a ready to move in property. Check out this debate on Under construction property VS Ready for Possession Property if you are considering which is better than other.


As buying home is one time decision, its always better to be more present (physically and mentally) to reality and not take the decision in hurry. Sample flats are not reality and you have to get that. You also should control yourself and your family members emotions (a lot of real estate buyers complain that ladies fall for the beautiful looking flats and get excited by beautiful wall colors, premium kitchen and the wall texture giving wow-experience and then do not comeback to reality from the unreal world they reached after looking at sample flat. Slow down and take the right decision.

I want to hear your views now ! . Have you seen sample flats in past or recently ?

Are you getting fooled and paying extra money on your restaurant Bills ?

Do you know that you might have lost thousands of rupees in paying extra money on restaurants bills over last few years, just because you do not understand what does service charge, service tax and VAT actually means and how are they calculated. Most of the times customers take it for granted assuming that hotel must charged it in right manner and as per rules laid down. Lets learn about these 3 concepts today so that next time you pay a hotel or restaurant bill, you exactly know what you are paying for and raise your voice if something is wrong.

When the Bill Arrives

Just before the bill arrives, I have this habit of running “guessing competition”. Whoever is with me, I ask him/her – “Guess, what would be the bill amount be around ? Give the range , whoever is close wins !” .

Almost all the time I am very close to the actual amount, but then I am not close to the final amount to pay, because I always forget to consider various tax and charges applicable, which always inflates the bill by 20-30% . Imagine you eat worth Rs 1,000 and pay Rs 1,260 finally ! . You know that feeling :).

So if you look at your bills when you eat at hotels and restaurants, you will see 3 kind of charges namely “service charge” , “service tax” and “VAT” . Lets decode them one by one and see what exactly they are

Service Tax and VAT on Restaurant Food bills

1. Service Charge

Service Charge is a charge levied by restaurant for the service provided to customers. This is generally 5%-10% of the bill and restaurant owner is free to charge whatever amount he/she wants as service charge. Its up-to you to decide if you want to eat there or not. The service charge has to be displayed in Menu, only then it can appear in the final bill. If you do not see it on Menu, it means it was not communicated to you and you cant not be charged service charge.

Service Charge at Barbeque NationActually service charges are to be distributed among waiters and staff and its kind of compulsory “tip” to be paid. So if there is service charge on the bill, you are not suppose to tip officially to any one. So don’t feel awkward not paying the tip, because you have already paid it in form of service charge, however most of the hotels and restaurants never tell you this explicitly. However one of the exceptions I know is restaurant called “Barbeque Nation”, I could clearly see it was written in their menu that “We will levy 4% service charge on the final bill, and you are not suppose to tip any one (strictly prohibited), because service charge will be shared among the staff” . The ethics quality was as high as their food quality 🙂

So if your food bill is Rs 1,000 and service charge is 10% , then your final bill will be Rs 1,100 .

2. Service Tax

The important thing, you should be aware about is how service tax is calculated! . Do you know that, Service tax is only applicable on 40% of the bill amount, not the total amount. As the service tax is around 12.36% at the moment, the final tax you need to pay is only 4.944% (12.5% X 40%) on the bill (inclusive of service charge).

The next important thing you should know is that, only AC restaurant can charge service tax. If there is no AC in restaurant (fully or partially) , they cant charge service tax at all. This service tax goes to Govt of India. The service tax is payable on the bill amount + service charge. So if Bill amount is Rs 1,000 , and service charge was Rs 100 (10%), then your sub total would be Rs 1,100 . And your service tax will be computed on Rs 1,100 (not Rs 1,000).  4.944% of Rs 1,100 will be Rs 54.38 and your total bill after service tax would be Rs 1154.38 . A lot of unprofessional and small restaurants are found to charge service tax on the full bill and most of the customer pay because they have no idea what is wrong and what is right. Here is official Note on service tax

Note – On 3rd Nov 2012 , Bar Council by mistake interpreted that service tax is to be paid only on service charge, and it starting circulating over facebook and emails. But note that it was a mistake and later clarified that service tax is to be charged on 40% of the bill amount also. So dont fall for wrong information . Even some one posted it on our jagoinvestor forum and I myself believed it to be true !, but later decided to investigate it.

3. VAT – Value Added Tax

VAT is Value added Tax collected by State Govt. VAT is only applicable to the food items which are prepared inside the restaurant, because they “added some value” and then hand it over to you. So make sure you do not pay it on packaged items which are not prepared by Restaurant like Packaged food items, water bottles etc. A lot of times you eat at restaurant and also take a lot of packaged items, in which case VAT should be applicable not on final bill, but only sub total of the food items you consumed.

VAT Charges vary from state to state, but generally lie in the range of 10% – 15% . Like in Maharashtra its 12.5% , and in Karnataka its 14.5% . VAT is to be charged only on the main bill + service charges. It CANT be charged on the amount after service tax. So in the same example we looked about, the final bill after service charge was Rs 1,100 , so VAT at 12.5% will be Rs 137.5. Now total bill amount would be

  • Food Bill – Rs 1,000
  • Service Charge – Rs 100
  • Service tax (4.944% of 1,100) – Rs 54.38
  • VAT (12.5% of 1,100) – Rs 137.5
  • Total – Rs 1,291

29% higher Bills compared to Cost

You can see how various charges and tax can increase your final bills by 25-30% . So next time you pay your bills, just make sure your check, if all the taxes and charges are computed properly and as per rules.

Any personal experiences ?

File RTI against PSU banks and get all information you wanted ever !

We have already done an article on how to use RTI for any kind of EPF related issues because EPFO is an govt organisation and comes under the purview of RTI . But a lot of people do not know that even PSU Banks come under RTI and if you have any issues with them, you can always file a RTI against them and get any kind of information you want.

So that means SBI, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Punjab national Bank, Carana Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and all other PSU banks (govt owned) will come under RTI . So the next question is what kind of situations can arise, when a person can file a RTI application. Lets see this – Prashant from Agra, had an issue with Canara Bank over the bank locker

My brother’s bank account is at canara bank, and he had taken a LOCKER there. He made his wife as joint account holder and with attorney. Now when she took locker keys to her home without informing we gave the manager an application that in case locker is secretly opened plz inform us. But after few days the lady mailed him(to manager) some application/or anything on his email.

when my brother n mother went to operate he stopped us.. and shouted at us in front of everyone as if we are thieves(account is in name of my brother). Manager is even not ready to show that email or copy of the same. Neither did he informed any of the 3 phone numbers given in application by us previously (he assured us to do the same). He yelled us out of bank(account is 12 year old in same branch) saying that he will FREEZE LOCKER. My brother the rightful owner wants to open his own account having keys to the locker yet not allowed.

Now in this issue, you can see that bank has not treated Prashant well and also not giving him the information properly. The bank people are also mishandling his locker. At this moment, Prashant can just file a RTI application and ask all those queries which he wanted to know. And within next 30-35 days , he should get the reply from the bank.

Let me share with you all 2 more real life incidents on how people used RTI against their PSU banks and got their work done !

1. How Kranti Used RTI against his Bank 

My ATM is locked due to some unknown reason. As usual customer-care directed me to contact branch. In branch a lady checks some info and said that this can not happen here, ATM will be unlocked by Mumbai main branch and advice me for new ATM card. At this time I have questioned them that in this case you will deduct charges from my saving account. Reply of lady was awesome, she simple blast on me and said that you people want everything free of cost. At that time I feel that there is no point in arguing with that lady and way back to my home.

After one week of try,suddenly I thought of applying RTI on this issue. I have met the branch manager and ask for how to apply RTI on this issue. Suddenly after listening name of RTI, bank manager came into action and directed same lady to solve this issue asap and said that if his issue is not resolved, he will file RTI. Surprisely my ATM is unlocked within minutes of action. In my case only name of RTI works wonder:)

2. How Elahi used RTI against SBi

RTI is very powerful and highly useful tool. Here is my experience with SBI. I have housing loan with SBI and they had charged extra interest of Rs. 73000 to me. So I filed RTI to get the detailed information of change in interest rates and to conform that my housing loan interest rate will be (SBAR – % concession.) After getting this information, I filed complaint with Branch and RACPC pune, giving them detailed interest calculations of interest for 4 years and asked them to refund my money. Waited for 3 weeks. SBI customer charted says that “Branch has to solve the problem withing 3 weeks elase wive written reply to customer telling why it is not solved and how much additional time is needed.”

After 3 weeks I pointed SBI to this clause ans asked for explaination through email. Then wheels started moving faster. Got my cresit within 2 hours. But it was not as per my calculation. I again explained them my claculations and after 3 credits they got their calculation right ! I got my money back completely. RTI works wonder. And every government and semi-govt. organisations have citizens charter. Use it for your purpose.

Note that Right to information (RTI) will only help a person get some information, after that he will have to follow up on that matter, but in today’s world, even if you get the correct data about something, its a big thing.

When to use RTI against PSU bank ?

  • When the bank is not giving you correct information about your home loan related items like interest rates, prepayment, documentation issues.
  • When you are not satisfied by bank behaviour, its service, the terms and conditions etc
  • When bank asks you some unjustified things like opening a FD for locker, buying some policy before locker can be opened !
  • When you feel that bank has done something against their own terms and conditions and is not entertaining you.
  • When you need any information from bank which you cant get directly !

Below is a video on RTI done by Sailesh Gandhi for Moneylife. Have a look at these video’s and understand how to effectively use Right to information in your life.

Branch Heads are also the CPIO’s !

When you file a RTI letter, it has to be addressed to Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) or Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO). Now all the major branch heads of PSU Banks are also CPIO’s and you can directly write the RTI letter to the branch head, but address them as CPIO’s . So in the place of address, mention the branch name and the name of the bank with full address. Some of the PSU banks also allow giving the RTI applications by hand to the Branch heads, but I would suggest try it on your own risk, sending the letter by registered post will be much better.

Steps for writing the RTI application against Bank

1. Download this RTI Template for Banks (Taken from Wealth Club)

2. Put the address and branch name of your Bank

3. Write down all the other details like name, address, email, phone and other details if any.

4. Put the information required at the appropriate place in the template. Make sure the question is brief and too the point.

5. Buy a postal order for Rs 10 , favoring to CPIO, Branch name, address (this you need to fill yourself).

6. Make sure you write the postal order number in the RTI letter, change it with your order number.

7. Take a print out and send the RTI letter via registered post or Speed post to the same address as Bank branch.

8. Wait for next 30-60 days for the reply and if you dont get it , escalate it further !

Note : You can also watch a detailed video course called “How to Use RTI in your financial life” (4 part video series , 19 min total running time) under our courses section of Jagoinvestor Wealth Club, incase you are a member.


So in this article, you have learned how you can also file RTI applications against a Public sector Bank in India and get all those information which you are not getting in proper manner otherwise.