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Beware of that 'vhishing' call!

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Cyber crooks from Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand cleaning out ATM accounts of gullible people in the State

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Sept 6: Phone calls asking for ATM card numbers are defrauding gullible people in the State every day, as new-age cyber crooks keep coming up with new tactics

Economic frauds carried out through bank Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are getting increasingly sophisticated, with both technical and human expertise employed to siphon off currency note bundles from their chests.

Officials in the CID say on an average, ten to twenty calls are made to people in the State every day by ATM frauds who are generally based in Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi.

Earlier seen in the West, the new trend is called ‘vhishing’. It involves a conman who calls up the target after gathering information like the bank where he or she holds an account. In most cases, the conman normally asks for the SBI account details, presuming that every person inevitably has an account in the state-run bank.

The conman, pretending to be from that bank, then asks the target for debit card details for reasons as varied as “upgrading debit card that would otherwise expire” to “providing a new PIN as part of security upgrade”. Several victims in such cases fall prey to this ploy and hand over their card details. The conman then goes on to make a series of uuthorised transactions – either through online or retail purchases - using the card details.

About 90 per cent of the debit or credit card victims are duped by gangs who call the victims by posing as bank executives or the bank’s call centre staff.

“On visiting the addresses on which the mobile SIM connections were procured, we found that SIM cards were taken on fake identities. If you call back, they do not respond,” said a police official.

The official said it is difficult to trace the culprits as they destroy their SIM cards and mobile phones after committing a fraud. The CID headquarters here alone has registered five such cases this year.

If the case is reported within 24 hours, there is a possibility of blocking bank transactions that might be executed by the frauds.

The number of cyber crime cases in the State has doubled from 2013 to 2014. A total of 154 cyber crime related cases were reported in 2013, which jumped to 379 in 2014. The police however has registered some successes. While only two persons were arrested in 2013, the number of arrested increased to 351 in 2014.

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