Rise in fraud debits from banks, DSP stresses tech upgrade
Manish Prasad, 25, received the shock of his life on Saturday evening when he received a text message that Rs 36,000 had been debited from his bank account.
The Kadma resident and insurance sector employee told the cyber crime police station in Bistupur that he had neither shared his IDBI Bank account number nor PIN with anyone.
On July 20 evening, Md Shahnawaz, 26, who has his account with the Bank of India’s Haldipokhar branch, received a similar text that Rs 42,000 had been debited from his account. He told the cyber cops in Bistupur that he was at Sakchi market when he received the text, and he had never shared his bank details.
Cyber criminals are miles ahead of the police amid the Centre pushing cashless transactions and netbanking, cops admit. While cyber criminals of yore would impersonate bank staff to call up their victims for their bank accounts, today’s conmen are more evolved, say cyber cops.
Since January 1 this year, 26 cases of cyber crime, most related to fraudulent withdrawal of money from banks, have been filed with the cyber police station. Half a dozen of them were related to online hate and abuse, which were detected. Of the 20 cases related to money debited from accounts, not one has been solved.
DSP (cyber crime) Jayashree Kujur, who monitors the probe of cases registered with the cyber crime police station in Bistupur, admitted that cyber criminals were “ahead of the police”.
“What is worrying is that cyber criminals are evolving more sophisticated ways to rob people’s money. We need more technical expertise. We also have to make the people more aware on how not fall prey to cyber crimes,” she said.
With the rise in online shopping, people share debit and credit card and CVV (card verification value) numbers across various sites. Whether hackers can gain access to this information is something cyber cops are not aware of.
Even cops are not spared. Umesh Singh, a havildar posted at Bistupur police station, said this January he got six texts on his cellphone, each announcing Rs 2,000 had been debited. Singh got his account closed. In eight months, the only thing that could be known was that the cyber criminal operated from Bangalore.
A cyber cop posted in Bistupur police station said one latest trend of conmen was putting up a fake website with phone numbers, say of a genuine cooking gas agency. A customer browsing the Net can find the fake website to call up the number written there.
One call is all that’s needed for the criminal to access the caller’s Aadhaar card details, home address and bank account number. Then, it becomes easier for the criminal to impersonate a bank staff. “When a person has all your details, you end up sharing your PIN if asked,” the cop said. “Recently, Bajrang Gas Agency in Kadma had to change its number as cyber criminals had put up a fake website of it to tap its customers.”