Exiled Bangladeshi poet and columnist Daud Haider has fallen victim to credit card fraud in India. Haider, who was staying with friends in Kolkata during a visit to the country, had been trying to send a large consignment of books he had bought in Kolkata to Berlin, Germany, where he lives.
“I approached the Indian postal service at first, but I was told that they no longer transport books as parcels. They go through a private courier service, and the cost was quite high, so I decided to use a courier service myself,” said Haider.
Having found a number apparently belonging to DTDC couriers through a Google search, Haider called what he believed to be the DTDC office. “They told me I’d have to register my name by paying an initial amount of INR 5 online, and asked me for my debit card details. I said I didn’t have one. And anyway the amount was too small for a European bank to transact,” he said. When this reporter tried a Google search with the number, the search results showed no link to DTDC.
At this point, Haider’s friends in Kolkata stepped in, offering to make the payment via their credit card, and gave the company the card details as requested. Within minutes, an amount of over Rs 2 lakh had been spent on the card through multiple transactions, all of them being credited to ‘Clubfactory India Private’ (not to ne confused with Club Factory). “When we tried to call the number (+916289827055) again, nobody took the call. We tried from a different number, and someone answered, but we were told the company had no office in Kolkata. Only in Chandigarh. The address they had earlier provided for the Kolkata office turned out to be fake too.”
Haider and his friends have registered a complaint with Rabindra Sarobar police station in Kolkata, as well as with the cyber crime cell of Kolkata Police. A senior Kolkata Police officer formerly associated with the cyber crime cell said, “This is why we issue repeated warnings. Everyone should remember that no genuine company will ever ask for your credit card details over the phone. The moment anyone asks for your credit card number, you need to be on your guard.”
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