I would like to bring to the notice of your readers a new scheme banks have thought up to attract deposits from the unwary customers. In their advertisements they are saying "Earn profit of Rs 19,900 or Rs 16,600 in advance". This is a total hoax. The modus operandi is that the customer makes a fixed deposit with the bank, for say, Rs 100,000. The bank immediately returns the promised amount less 10% withholding tax. So in case of customer getting Rs. 19,900 in advance, he is hit with a tax deduction of Rs 1,990. The clincher is in the fine print which says the customer will get Rs 100,000 back not in a year but in 15 months or 18 months. Why wouldn't the customer make a fixed deposit of Rs 80,100 and keep the 'supposed' advance of a full Rs. 19, 900 as profit to himself. That way he would not have to take the hit for Rs 1, 990. What is the State Bank doing to safeguard interests of the customers? Or maybe it has the mandate of safeguarding interests of the banks only? -BABAR KHAN, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, December 13.