Fraudsters now targeting people from rural areas

Sunil Pradhan
Saturday, 8 July 2017

The advent of technology has made life easier and now people from even rural areas are using digital banking and other digital platforms at their convenience. But this has also increased the risk of cyber frauds targeting the rural masses. In its three-part series, Sakal Times takes a look at happenings in cyber crimes in Pune rural areas and the measures needed to keep a tab on scamsters

Pune: After Pune city, cyber frauds are now targeting Pune rural areas with the number of people in rural areas falling prey to scamsters on the rise. On July 3, a 72-year-old man, who stays in Vanvemla area of Baramati, about 100 km from Pune, received a call from an unidentified person, who identified himself as an official from the State Bank of India (SBI). The caller told the man that the bank is offering him a new debit card. The caller then asked the man to share credentials of his current SBI card so that he can initiate the process of getting him the new ATM card. Minutes after the man parted with the credentials of his debit card, Rs 21,000 was deducted from his bank account. Following this, the man lodged a complaint at Baramati police station.

Similarly, on June 15, a 26-year-old man staying in Chakan was called by an unidentified person. The caller told the man that he had not filled the know your customer (KYC) form and that he should share his bank details to complete the process. The man assumed the caller as genuine and so he parted with his bank details only to find that Rs 49,997 was withdrawn from his bank account in three different transactions. The man then approached the Chakan police station and lodged a case of cheating.

In another case on July 1, a 30-year-old man from Rajgurunagar received a call from an unidentified person who told him that his bank ATM card would soon be blocked and if he wants his card not to be blocked, then he should share his Aadhaar card number and ATM card details with him.

The man did as he was instructed by the caller only to find that Rs 40,000 was missing from his account when he received a message on his phone about the same.

These are few incidents where people from Pune rural areas have been cheated by online scamsters.

The Cyber Crime Cell (CCC) of the Pune rural police has seen a massive rise in the number of such complaints received post-demonetisation.
Speaking about the cyber crime trends in Pune rural area, Assistant Police Inspector (API) Mahesh Chavan of CCC said that majority of the cyber crimes are related to debit and credit card frauds. “As per our observation, there has been a massive rise in the number of people using debit and credit cards since demonetisation. Many people also chose to open new bank accounts and online scamsters are taking benefit of this. We are receiving at least two complaints on a daily basis related to cyber crime at our cell,” added Chavan.

As per officials of CCC, there is a need to make people aware of the safety measures while using ATM cards. “While speaking to victims of such frauds, we came to know that these victims never thought that the person calling them can be a fraudster. In many cases, the scamsters have data of the victim. which they use to establish trust with the victim before scamming them,” added Chavan.

The API highlighted that fraudsters are routing the stolen money either through different mobile wallets or using it for shopping. “The fraudsters are using multiple wallets, which makes it difficult to track them. Victims of such frauds should immediately approach their bank and police station as there is very minute chance to save their money from getting stolen by freezing the transactions,” added Chavan.

Some Safety Tips:
1. Never share your bank details and personal details with anybody.
2. Keep your debit card safe and always memorise the PIN of the card.
3. Check bank statements on a regular basis and inform bank in case of frauds.
4. Sign in the signature panel on your ATM card as soon as you receive it, as some fraudsters swap your card inside the ATM kiosks.

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