Kerala: Ex-banker loses Rs 1 lakh in OTP fraud

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jan 11, 2018, 1:23 am IST
Updated Jan 11, 2018, 1:23 am IST
Soon he found that Rs 99,000 had been withdrawn from his account.
The person received another call after half an hour saying that the Aadhaar-linking process had been completed and that he could verify the same by the code sent to him.
 The person received another call after half an hour saying that the Aadhaar-linking process had been completed and that he could verify the same by the code sent to him.

Kochi: Online bank fraudsters devised a new method of cheating gullible persons under the guise of helping to link Aadhaar with their bank accounts.  

Another modus operandi is to make a call and ask for the code, similar to the one-time password (OTP) used in online transactions, that has been sent as an SMS in the mobile number of the person and then use the same to withdraw the money from the account. 

 

In the first incident, a retired bank employee lost nearly Rs 1 lakh from his account after a caller claiming to be from the Reserve Bank of India  offered to link his Aadhaar and bank account numbers. The person received another call after half an hour saying that the Aadhaar-linking process had been completed and that he could verify the same by the code sent to him.

The complainant, who doesn’t want to be quoted, gave the ‘code’ when the ‘bank official’ said the same was needed for sending the document in this regard to his account. Soon he found that Rs 99,000 had been withdrawn from his account. A case was lodged with the Alappuzha cyber cell. 

Mr Mohan Manga-ttusseril, a native of Chittoor in Ernakulam, has lodged a complaint with DGP Loknath Behera seeking a probe into the fake calls received by him and his brother claiming to be a bank employee alerting them about the expiry of the credit card and issuance of a new card.

According to Mr V.K. Adarsh, a bank employee and commentator on cyber matters, “Such codes are actually OTPs by which fraudsters can make online purchases. In certain cases, the data regarding the victims’ debit cards like card number and CVV number are leaked while making purchases. When a credit or debit card is swiped through a skimmer, the device captures and stores all the details stored in the card's magnetic strip. Thieves use the stolen data to make fraudulent charges either online or with a counterfeit credit card.”

“Cases are being reported of the victims who haven’t shared the OTPs”, Mr Adarsh said. “Spy mobile software will get automatically downloaded along with ads when we use certain applications. The racket could take all details from mails and message boxes of the mobiles, including the OTPs and card details,” he said.

The only solution is tight vigil and caution by the people, he said. “People shouldn’t share anything about their financial transactions while responding to calls, especially internet calls. Instead, toll-free number of banks should be used to clear doubts. Technically speaking, the linking Aadhar with mobile numbers is one of the solutions,” he said. 

According to Mr Mohan, his brother received a call from a person introducing him as an executive from the SBI saying that his card would expire  soon and that the bank would issue a new card. The call was made to confirm the card details and mobile number. For the same, he wanted to know a code that the bank had sent to his mobile number. As all the information/details  matched  with the card and what the caller briefed, his brother divulged the code. But he soon alerted the bank and blocked the account.   

In a similar incident, Mr Mohan received a call from a woman claiming to be from the SBI saying that a new card with his photo embedded had been dispatched through the courier and that she wanted to know the consignment number sent as an SMS. “As I am cautious about such frauds I declined to give the number and the lady threatened to block my card before ending the call.”  

Mr Mohan submitted the details of the phone number from which he and his brother received the calls and the screenshots of the SMS messages.

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