IN A case that raises questions about security of debit and credit card details, a Goregaon resident was recently conned when a person pretending to be calling from his bank took his card details on the pretext of giving him “cash back” for purchases. After this, unauthorised transactions were detected from his account.
What sets the case apart from similar incidents in which such fraudulent calls have been made is the fact that in this case, the caller knew the credit card number of the victim and only asked for four digits of the card and the three digit security code printed at the back of the card. An FIR has been registered at the Goregaon police station that is investigating the case.
An officer linked to the case said the complainant, Naishal Shah (30), who works in a private company, was at his native place in Gujarat when he received a call on June 16. The caller claimed to be calling from the Nariman Point office of the private bank in which Shah had an account, and said that he was calling him to “process cash back for the purchases he had made using the card.”
The officer said: “The caller, however, asked him for only four digits – the ones from 9 to 12 – of the 16-digit card number. Later, he asked for the security code. Since he had not been asked to give the entire credit card number, Shah did not suspect anything.”
After Shah gave the details, the caller asked him for the One Time Password (OTP) that he said Shah would soon receive on his phone. At this point, Shah became suspicious and said that he would not give the OTP.
“The caller, however, told him that in that case, they would be forced to block the card. With some hesitation, Shah ended up giving the OTP to the caller. The latter told him that he would soon receive the cash back in his account,” the officer said.
However, within few minutes, instead of cash back, some unauthorised transactions, totalling Rs 18,500, were made using Shah’s account details. Suspecting the previous caller to be a conman, Shah approached the Goregaon Police when he returned to the city. After going through the details, the police registered an FIR on charges of cheating and sections of the Information Technology Act.
A senior officer said: “Normally, such callers do not have the details and hence, we ask people to be wary of these calls. However, this time around, the caller had the card number and just needed the security code. We suspect the involvement of some insider, who may have provided card details to such callers. This makes them all the more believable.”
An officer with the cyber crime police station said that since the police had been carrying out awareness drives, criminals might have fine tuned their modus operandi. As per the statistics provided by the Mumbai Police, around 200 cases of vishing – where fraudulent phone calls are made to con people – have been registered between January 1 and June 4 this year.
With the increasing number of cases, and hardly any of these being detected, the police recently roped in actor-producer Ajay Devgn to create a short film that shows how the racket operates and the ways to avoid them. The police have also started a helpline for residents in case they fall victims to such cases.