Conmen prey on credit card fraud fear
Date of Publishing:20/8/2010
Mumbai: Mumbai Police are increasingly coming across cases of swindlers using 'social engineering' to siphon out thousands of rupees from banking accounts.
The term 'social engineering' is used to describe the modus operandi of hackers who trick people into revealing passwords or other confidential information over the phone or in person.
According to the police, victims receive a call on their cellphone from a cheat posing as a bank executive, who tells them that a certain sum — normally in excess of Rs 20,000 — has been deducted from their account for payment towards a credit card purchase. The caller then hangs up.
Gullible victims, fearing a credit card fraud, call back the same number, believing that there is a bank employee on the other end. The swindler then tells the victim that he could block the credit card to prevent any further misuse, and asks for security details such as passwords. Armed with this information, he then goes on to siphon out thousands of rupees from the victim’s bank account.
Officials from the cyber cell of Mumbai Police say this trend is spreading in the city. However, no one has registered an official FIR yet. "We have got several complaints from people who say that someone called them up and informed them that some transaction had been carried out through their credit card. Worried, they asked the caller to block the credit card. It was only later that they discovered that money had been siphoned out from their account," said an officer.
The swindlers have their tactics all chalked out. They impress the victim by speaking in fluent English, addressing him/her by his or her full name, citing the credit card number and the name of the bank. Later, they ask for the identification PIN number of the credit or debit card on the pretext of blocking transactions. "The caller may also advise you to lodge an official complaint with the bank about this cheating," said an official, adding that the average credit card holder does not normally have his bank's official telephone number and thus gets cheated.
In the past, there have been cases in Mumbai where credit card fraudsters have been found hand-inglove with petrol pump employees, restaurant employees and shopping mall cashiers who took printouts of credit cards swiped in their shops and handed them over for a fixed commission.
In 2007, Jet Spice, Kingfisher and several other airlines suffered a loss of over Rs 17 crore when a gang of young boys got hold of the details of credit card holders and used them to book air tickets.
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