Blocked SIM card could mean online fraud

Online banking cheating cases on the rise in city, warn experts

A 35-year-old software engineer working with an information technology (IT) company in Chinchwad got an SMS that her ICICI Bank debit card had been used to make purchases worth Rs93,000. She almost fainted because she had never made any such transaction. But her nightmare did not end there. A short while later she received another SMS saying her debit card had been used to make another purchases of Rs 5,000.

The cases of online banking and mobile transactions are on the rise in the city. The officers of the cyber crime cell (CCC) of Pune police claimed people are not aware about fraudsters and their tricks. As a result, the cases have increased in the city.

The CCC officers said that people do not have adequate knowledge of safety and security measures for online transactions. They said as many as 60 such cases are being registered at different police stations in the city.

Fraudsters are using the technique of blocking the SIM card of the victims’ cellphones to ensure they don’t get alerts from the bank. Senior police inspector Sarjerao Babar of CCC told dna, “The present modus operandi of the fraudsters is to block the SIM card with the help of the telecom company employees. Thereafter, they send an application to the telecom company for a new SIM card on the victim’s name. Once the fraudsters get the new SIM card, they get the bank alerts.”

On that basis, fraudsters submit fake know your customer (KYC) forms on the name of the victim and open new accounts in their name and make transactions. “Thereafter, the fraudsters immediately transfer money to their different accounts,” Babar said.

Analysing the causes for the rise in number of cyber crimes in Pune, Babar said, “As more people use the Internet and cellphones for banking, the number of people falling prey to cyber crimes is increasing. People carrying out bank transactions using the Internet are falling prey to economic offenders on the prowl.”

Deputy commissioner of police (cyber) Sanjay Shinde told dna, “People do not have adequate knowledge of safety and security measures to be taken while carrying out online transactions. We have been trying to spread awareness by giving safety tips in dos and dont’s format. However, many Internet users do not pay enough attention to our advice. In recent cases, we have observed that if the SIM card was blocked, the victims could have contacted the nearest telecom office and get a confirmation on it, but they did not. As a result, the fraud took place.”

Shinde said they had asked bank authorities to create awareness among customers about the latest security measures. “But the banks are slowly proactive in security aspects related to mobile banking,” Shinde said.

Besides, a major chunk of cyber crimes pertain to credit /debit card frauds.

Banks authorities asked to step on it

Deputy commissioner of police (cyber) Sanjay Shinde claimed that they had asked bank authorities to create awareness among customers about the latest security measures and to be vigilant during submission of KYC forms to weed out fake accounts. “But the banks are slow in responding to security aspects related to mobile banking,” he said.

Online shopping tips

l Shop with merchants you know and trust

l Check whether the shopping website is secure

l Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls or emails from merchants

l Read merchant’s refund and exchange policies before making any purchase

l Do not share your password

l Always print and keep the order confirmation documents

l Read the privacy statement

l Never enter your personal information on a pop-up screen.

Internet Banking

l Keep your passwords/PIN codes safe and memorise them

l Check if the online banking website is secure

l Log out immediately after you complete your online transaction

l Do not copy or click on any links that are not from a known source

l Do not respond to emails asking for personal or banking related information

l Read privacy and policy statements to ensure that no unauthorised transaction has taken place

l Check your account statements regularly

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Courtesy : DNA