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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Possible involvement of the underworld: cops

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 11, 2013
First Published: 01:37 IST(11/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:40 IST(11/2/2013)

Investigation into recent trans-national credit card frauds has led the city police to suspect the possible involvement of organised syndicates, including the underworld.

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A senior crime branch official, on the condition of anonymity, said that these rackets, that are spread across various countries across the globe, would be impossible without an organised and centralised operational command. “Only the underworld or terror groups are capable of running such widespread rackets,” the officer added.

Explaining the credit card swindling racket, the officer said that it usually begins from the collection of card data. “Salesmen at shops/malls, or internet hackers steal digital data of the card by skimming and phishing,” said the officer.

After this, it is passed to groups that specialise in embossing the data on magnetic tapes. This information is then posted on blank cards which then act as clones.

Once a bunch of cloned cards are prepared, it is usually sent to another country for use.

The officer added that since most cards these days are valid across the globe, fraudsters take advantage of it. “This process ensures that the card holder is unaware of transactions taking place using a cloned card, and also ensures anonymity of the miscreant. Moreover, it renders investigation impossible,” the officer added.

He said that since the underworld already has such an elaborate network across countries, the police have reasons to suspect their involvement in these credit card frauds as well.

Not only does this have ramifications in terms of financial loss by the banks and customers, but are also misused by terror groups, the officer said.

Meanwhile, additional commissioner of police Niket Kaushik said that although the police are yet to find definite proof of the involvement of the underworld in credit card frauds, “in all likelihood, it involved organised syndicates.”

Kaushik added that since existing security features of credit cards were being hacked, the police has asked major banks to upgrade their security systems.


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