The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) approached the Mumbai Police last week after they had found details of around 125-150 RuPay debit cards that were compromised and allegedly used in Punjab to pay electricity bills. RuPay is a domestic card scheme launched in 2012 by the NPCI, an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India. The Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) police station, under whose jurisdiction the NPCI head office falls, registered an FIR. But the matter is likely to be transferred to Punjab Police, under whose jurisdiction the crime was committed.
A spokesperson for the NPCI told The Indian Express that they found some people had made fraudulent phone calls to several RuPay card holders, pretending to be calling from their bank or other means and took their card details. We suspect the details of around 125-150 people were taken by fraudsters. People from various parts of the country lost their money.
“Our investigation revealed that cards from six to seven banks had been used. We suspect the amount lost would be between Rs 25-30 lakh,” the spokesperson said.
“Since RuPay is our brand, we thought it would be apt to approach the police and register a complaint,” the spokesperson said. An officer from Mumbai Police, who is investigating the matter, said they had registered an offence under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 120 (cheating and dishonesty), 34 (common intention) and 120 (B) (punishment for criminal conspiracy) and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act on last Wednesday. “The complainant in the case is the risk management head of the NPCI. Based on the information that we have been provided, it appears that the card details have been used to make payments for electricity bills of some customers of the Punjab State Power Corporation,” an officer said.
Sources said the police had narrowed down their investigation to four shops in the Barnala district of Punjab, where the payments were allegedly made from these debit cards.
“There are a few names that have come to the fore during the investigation so far,” an officer added. Since the place of offence is in Punjab, the case is likely to be transferred to Punjab Police for further investigation, an officer linked to the case said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 8) Anil Kumbhare said, “An FIR has been registered in the case and investigations are on. I cannot reveal any details at this stage.”