Hyderabad: Homegrown debit cards scammers have overtaken Nigerian cons. The crooks have safe havens in Jamtara and Dumka districts of Jharkhand, where even the police can't reach. When Hyderabad cyber crime police analysed more than 150 cases of debit card frauds, they found that maximum calls had been made by frauds from these two districts and other parts of Jharkhand.
They usually call up citizen in the city pretending to be bank managers or UDAI officials and extract debit card details including One Time Passwords (OTP) before looting victims’ money by making online purchases and recharges. City cyber cops, who have been able to catch only one of the accused so far, say the Jharkhand police do not cooperate.
“There was spurt of complaints, in which the victims said that they got calls from people claiming to be bank managers. The callers asked them to upgrade their debit cards or else the cards would be blocked. The victims were then asked to provide the name, card number, and CVV, and OTP in order to upgrade the card. Believing them, the users provided the details only to find out a few minutes later that they had been looted,” said Hyderabad Cyber Crime inspector Mr V.P. Tiwari.
“As part of the investigation, when we verified the callers’ phone numbers, and online purchases and recharges, we found that most calls had originated from Jharkhand,” said Mr Tiwari, adding that attempts were made to arrest the suspects, but they were not successful. In June this year, a team of cyber cops went to apprehend the gang, but they managed to arrest only one person, who was working for the main gang. All the other address that they traced were fake. “We could have done better if we had got adequate support from the Jharkhand police. But they do not cooperate,” said another cyber crime official.
The Jharkhand gang is suspected to have bought SIM cards in bulk using fake IDs and are running secret call centers accessing, bank account holders’ profiles from disgruntled bank employees.
“We are not blaming the victims, but despite various attempts to educate people, many do not understand that they should never disclose their debit card details to anyone. Bank officials will never call asking for debit card details,” said a senior Cyber Crime official.