Improving cyber security is the only way out

Sunil Pradhan
Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Over 900 complaints of debit card and credit fraud have been reported this year at the Cyber Crime Cell (CCC) of the city police. The landline phone continues to buzz whole day as alert citizens inform the CCC about vishing (voice phishing) calls received by them.

PUNE: On April 8, Nana Sonawane from Wakad received a phone call from a person who identified himself as Nanu Sayani from Jharkhand. Nanu informed Sonawane that he is calling from main branch of Bank of Baroda and told him that his debit card will be blocked as he has failed to submit know your customer (KYC) details to the bank. 

Sonawane who got scared that his debit card will be blocked then parted with his confidential debit card details with the caller only to find that Rs 49,821 was missing from his bank account. The fraudsters did not stop there and stole Rs 40,000 from Sonawane’s account on April 9.

Similarly, an another case, on April 20, Sachin Kulkarni from Narhe received phone calls from three different persons who identified themselves as Radha Kishan Asharam, Pooja Sharma and Sumit Kumar from New Delhi.  The trio called Sachin one after the other and discussed various benefits and points he would get for using his Axis Bank credit card. The trio lured Sachin to offer various points on his credit card while extracting his card details from him and then scamming him of Rs 19,833 from his account.

Over 900 complaints of debit card and credit fraud have been reported this year at the Cyber Crime Cell (CCC) of the city police. The landline phone continues to buzz whole day as alert citizens inform the CCC about vishing (voice phishing) calls received by them. The above mentioned cases clearly reflect how fraudsters establish a trust and connectivity with their victims before duping them. 

Speaking on how fraudsters influence their victims, Dr Vasudeo Paralikar who is a psychiatrist, said that scamsters play on their fluency of language, tone and pitch of the voice. “They sound sweet and at the same time convincing which does the trick for them,” added Paralikar. The psychiatrist highlights that fraudsters are well aware of their victims and use the technique of instilling fear, greed or need in the minds of people before making them victims of crime. 

“As can be seen in card frauds, they scare people that their accounts will be locked, blocked or hacked thus convincing people to part with their bank details which lead to the fraud. Many times, I get messages that I have won Great Britain pounds and I need to contact on a particular number to get the reward. People who are greedy fall into such traps. Similarly, we hear of job frauds and matrimonial frauds where fraudsters know that the victims are in need of either a job or a life partner and so it makes them vulnerable to such frauds.”   

Officials of CCC said that fraudsters pretend to help the victims but they are actually harming them by stealing their confidential details.

Speaking on the issue, cyber expert Harold D’costa said that there has been a rapid change in technology but the change in our policies is too slow. “In most of the cases, the fraudsters are out of State which makes it difficult to track them,” added D’costa.

While psychiatrist Paralikar highlights that improving cyber security is everyone’s responsibility including police, people, telecom companies and every stakeholder associated with it. “People become victims of such attacks as there is no mechanism to distinguish between a genuine caller and a fake caller,” added Paralikar.

DOS AND DON’TS
- Stay calm and do not panic when you receive such calls.
- Inform police and respective bank about the incident.
- Never part with confidential bank details.

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