BENGALURU: Making best use of the demonetisation move, scammers have gone to the extent of giving classified ads promising to convert old notes to new ones. A few of these ads appeal to the public to invest the wealth instead of destroying it.
Income Tax Department officials say they are aware of the advertisements and will take appropriate action.
One such ad which appeared in a Kannada newspaper has gone viral on social media owing to the promises. According to the advertisement posted by Om Ashrama and Charitable Trust, the Trust offered to exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for two days. “On a commission basis, you can convert old currency notes worth lakhs to crores,” the advertisement promised. It also provided two contact numbers.
When one of the numbers was contacted, a man said that the advertisement was posted to bring disrepute to the charitable organisation. The man refused to identify himself. The second number provided in the ad was switched off.
Another newspaper ad which went viral posed a question — “Why do we throw Rs 500 & Rs 1,000?” The ad by Varam Educational and Charitable Trust from Chrompet in Chennai read, “Notes in the bin and that will be sin. To win Baba’s blessing, put into Baba’s Temple project”, clarifying that the Trust would accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Ads for investment
On Quora, an online community, one such ad appealed to the fears of people who have unaccounted wealth. Rather than asking people to donate the money to a charitable enterprise, the ad requested people to invest in a business. “Please don’t destroy money you have. You can buy shares in my Company (Pvt Ltd) which is an internet company. I will not get any IT inquiry. Or send the more money I will pay TAX and I will manage it. So it is a win-win situation,” the ad read. It was posted by Dhawal Gupta.
‘Don’t fall prey’
A spokesperson at the IT department office in Bengaluru warned people against such misleading ads. “In the past two weeks, we have received four to five similar complaints where promises of converting notes to new denominations were made. People should not fall prey to such misleading ads and should immediately inform the authorities concerned,” he said.
Both the intelligence and investigation wings of the Income Tax Department are looking into such ads. People involved in any kind of criminal activity will be brought to book, the spokesperson said.