A viral “public awareness” video allegedly showing the RBI governor giving advice is doing the rounds on social media. In the viral video, one can see Shaktikanta Das ‘advising’ citizens on how to block their digital payment apps like Google Pay, PayTM, PhonePe in case their mobile phones get stolen.
The users and the viral video also share ‘helpline numbers’, through which you will have to verify your email, phone number, date of birth if you want to block your digital wallets.
The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.
Newschecker first noticed that the audio was not in sync with RBI governor Shaktikanta Das’s lip movement in the viral video, leading to doubts on its authenticity. We ran a keyword search for such an announcement by Das, which did not give any relevant official reports.
We then ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this Youtube video, titled “Address by Shri Shaktikanta Das, RBI Governor”, uploaded on May 5, 2021, on the Reserve Bank of India’s official Youtube channel.
Not only did the voice of the RBI governor sound different than what can be heard in the viral video, even the topic of what he is speaking about is different. In the video posted by the RBI, Das can be heard reviewing India’s financial position amid the Covid-19 pandemic after the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Further, when we went through the transcript of the governor’s speech on the RBI’s website, we did not find any mention of UPI apps and related frauds.
We then ran a keyword search using the terms “GPay + PhonePe + Block + Helplines”, which led us to this Facebook reel by digital creator Mausam Nagpal on how to block your digital wallets. It was uploaded on August 1.
The audio in the reel is clearly the one used in the viral video as it matches verbatim, along with certain frames that have also been used in the viral clip, confirming that the video was doctored.
The Press Information Bureau has debunked the viral video, saying that it is misleading and that the voice heard in the video is not of the RBI governor.
We have reached out to Nagpal regarding this viral video and will update this article once a response is received.
Viral video of RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announcing helplines to help block your digital wallets was found to be edited. The viral clip combined the video of one of the governor’s addresses with the audio of an FB reel by a digital creator.