Be cautious or else you may fall prey to debit card fraud

We need to keep updating ourselves with preventive measures while using newer technologies for money transfer and payments

yogesh

Yogesh Rajput | October 21, 2016 | New Delhi


#cyber cell   #police   #banks   #fraud   #debit card  

Photo: Arun Kumar

 The news of vital data of thousands of debit cards being exposed to fraudsters has sent many into a tizzy, with people now calling up their banks and looking up Google on what to do next. Though banks have been sending alerts, to all those whose cards are found to be at risk, along with a host of to-do steps while using a debit card, there is one basic precautionary measure I would advise everyone to follow – something that I learnt while reporting in Chandigarh. 

For this, let us rewind to the year 2013. The Chandigarh police had received a complaint from a lady who alleged that transactions of over Rs 70,000 were made from her debit card without her knowledge. However, the more surprising element in the complaint was that she had the card with her all the time while shopping purchases were being made in Ludhiana. And this was not a one-off complaint. The police received similar such complaints in a short span of time. 
 
After investigation, the Cyber Cell of the Chandigarh police arrested two youth, and recovered blank cards with magnetic strips and magnetic readers. 
 
Here was their modus operandi: First, the accused built a rapport with the staff of petrol pumps across several cities, including Delhi and Chandigarh, and provided them with magnetic readers. Whenever a customer would give his or her card to the staff for making a payment, they would tell the customer that the card machine is kept in the office or somewhere away from the petrol filling booth. Once the card was away from the sight of the customer, they would swipe the card twice – once on the original card machine to make the actual payment and another on the machine with a magnetic reader. 
 
The magnetic reader would capture the vital data of the debit card which could later be transferred electronically to a blank card containing magnetic strips. The new card, thus, acted as the original debit card through which the duo easily made purchases and transactions.
This trick has been used many a time and police departments of various cities have arrested people for such frauds. So, the basic precautionary measure one needs to take is to ensure that the debit card is swiped right in front of one’s eyes. 
 
As India moves towards a more technology-driven (or cashless) economy, newer methods of crime would also be devised. And we need to be prepared for them.
 
Also read our story on cashless economy.
 

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