Cyber criminals ‘set up shop’, use card-swiping machines for fraud

An officer with the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) said during a recent raid at a hideout used by a Rajasthan-based cyber-crime gang, investigators found several point of sale (POS) machines.

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai | Published:September 5, 2016 1:24 am
cyber crimes, internet fraud, online fraud, online cheating, banking fraud, atm fraud, online banking fraud, cyber security Once the cloned cards are ready, they are sold to a third gang that uses them with on the fraudulently acquired POS machines. (Representational Picture)

CYBER CRIMINALS have come up with yet another way to use card details to steal money, investigators have said. Cases have come to light where fraudsters have used credit card swiping machines, such as the ones in use in stores, for fraudulent transactions.

Until now, criminals, after obtaining victims’ credit card details, would use the information to make online transactions. But with the new way, they can use the details to obtain cash.

An officer with the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) said during a recent raid at a hideout used by a Rajasthan-based cyber-crime gang, investigators found several point of sale (POS) machines. Probe revealed the gang had claimed to have been running a shop. “They had actually paid Rs 30,000 to rent a place in order to get the POS machines,” the officer said.

Explaining the modus operandi, the officer said such criminals first rent a shop premises, then approach a bank for a POS machine. On them, they swipe cards with fraudulently acquired details. The officer said that soon, the accused withdraw the money from the bank and flee. By the time victims and the bank where the account was opened by the accused realise the ‘purchases’ were made by cyber criminals, fraudsters move on to another state, the officer said.

On most occasions, there are separate gangs involved in the crime. One gang calls victims posing as bank representatives, and obtains their card details. This gang then sells the data to another, which copies the data on blank credit cards available in the market. Once the cloned cards are ready, they are sold to a third gang that uses them with on the fraudulently acquired POS machines. “This is a well oiled network that also includes foreign nationals,” a senior officer said.

The officer added, “In order to ensure criminals do not obtain POS machines easily, we suggested a slew of security measures to banks. Now most of them do not give POS machines to all applicants. They also set a limit of transactions.”