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Smooth talkers commit online fraud

Outsourcing agencies are privy to information that is making their path of crime a cakewalk – and enabling them to remain virtually untraceable.

Smooth talkers commit online fraud
Representative Image


Outsourcing agencies employed by various banks are compromising the security of customers in Chennai. This came to light when a special team from the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Greater Chennai police raided a dingy room in Vasant Vihar, Delhi six months ago. Aiming to arrest those behind the siphoning off of funds from customers’ accounts, they found files full of bank account and debit card details of thousands of Chennaiites kept as a ready reckoner by the criminals. The CCB team had arrested six persons, including a Tamilian settled in Delhi, who would talk to Tamil-speaking customers.

The fraudsters’ modus operandi is to purchase data from the outsourcing agencies, including vital information, such as credit card number, its expiry date and the bank branch details of account holders, CCB sources told DT Next. “This is classified information, which the bank alone is supposed to keep. But the outsourcing agencies which work for banks have access to these details and are selling them to fraudsters for money. It is a huge security lapse,” a senior CCB official said. This was the main reason why online fraud was recurring. 

He recalled how he himself fell victim to a smooth caller once. “The caller spoke in fluent Tamil, he had the correct information about my bank branch and account details. He wanted to get my CVV number and OTP,” the official said. 

He said that there were many north Indian gangs engaged in such fraudulent transactions across India. “They use bank accounts created using fake documents. The newer banks provide bank accounts without proper verification to beat the competition and that helps these criminals duck the police. So the detection record in such crimes is very poor,” the official said. 

Data Threat
  • Outsourcing companies sell each customer’s data for as little as Rs. 10.
  • An email id is sold for Re. 1 whereas credit/debit card data is sold for Rs. 10 per customer. 
  • Banks will never call you to verify the OTP (one-time password) that is usually sent to the registered mobile number.
  • Never reply to mails that ask for your bank account details.
(Data from CCB sources)

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