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News : Beware of This Customer Care Representative
Kochi, India Jan 5, 2015 -- Debit card holders in the city are increasingly being targeted by new generation financial fraudsters operating online. In what is said to be a new ruse, popular in major metros, being deployed here, the debit card holder gets a call from a person who identifies himself as a bank representative. He then asks for the card number, ATM password and OTP number. After he receives the required information, the unsuspecting victim is duped.
A Fort Kochi native Jackson Emanuel fell prey to this fraud on Friday. "I received a call from a person who identified himself as Deepak Sharma, a customer service representative, IDBI Bank (the bank in which Jackson has an account), Mumbai. Sharma then told me that as my debit card is blocked, he needed details, including the debit card number, card verification value (CVV) code printed on the back of the card and ATM pin number. I gave him all these details," said Jackson, who works as an office boy with a private firm in MG Road.
A few minutes later Sharma called up Jackson again and said there was a problem in unblocking the card, and asked him to switch off the mobile phone. "When I switched the mobile on, I got an SMS with the one-time password (OTP) number. In his third call, Sharma asked about the OTP number and directed me to switch off the mobile and switch it only next morning. I followed his direction," said Jackson, who had never availed net banking or online transaction facilities and thus had no clue about what an OTP number was.
"When I switched on the mobile next day morning, I got three transaction SMSes and found that Sharma debited Rs 1,716 to recharge an Airtel set-top box. Jackson immediately contacted the IDBI customer care and blocked his card. He also approached Kadavanthra police to register a case.
Jackson tried to call Sharma and found his mobile number was blocked by the latter. "My friends called Sharma from another number. He said he was the customer care representative of many banks such as SBI, IDBI, Bank of Baroda and works in the debit card section, based in New Delhi," said Jackson.
When contacted, cyber cell officers said that many city residents were falling prey to online frauds, but this was a relatively new modus operandi, adding that a detailed investigation will be launched.
Jackson, meanwhile, is clueless about how Sharma got his name, mobile phone number and debit card number. "I have never used my card for any purpose other than drawing cash from ATM counters. I doubt if the details have been leaked from the bank itself. I will register a complaint with the bank on Monday," he said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2015