The next time you get a call from a “banker” saying that he needs your account details as he suspects you of converting black money into white, just hang up.
There has been increasing incidents in the National Capital Region of conmen using demonetisation as an opportunity to dupe people by making them disclose their ATM/credit card details on phone.
Some people avoid such calls but those like NT Mathur, a resident of Lotus Pond apartments in Indirapuram, was trapped. He was duped of Rs70,000 from his SBI bank account.
“I got a call on Sunday afternoon from an unknown number saying that they are from SBI and my ATM card may be blocked in some time. In order to avoid it, they said, I should tell them the details of the card and the one time password which I will receive. I did as they said and found later that in four transactions, Rs70,000 had been debited from my account,” said Mathur, a retired additional director of Lok Sabha, government of India.
He submitted a written complaint at the Indirapuram police station on Monday.
Shruti, 28, a resident of Vasant Kunj in south Delhi, got a similar call on December 2. A man called her and said that he suspects there had been too many transactions of “unusual” nature in her account and that he required her bank details.
“When I told him that I will inquire it from the bank, he said that he too is from bank and insisted upon sharing the details. Seeing his desperation, it was not very difficult for me to understand that it was a fake call,” she added.
There has been no such rule laid by the Reserve Bank of India that allows bankers to ask for card details post demonetisation.
A senior police officer said that these people mainly operate from villages in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc. They google and get phone numbers of Delhi residents, after which they dial other numbers serial-wise.
They feed their number with the name of a bank so that their name flashes as banker on True Caller — a software that tracks people’s identity.
“Such incidents were reported couple of years back in Delhi but by now people have understood their way of operating. As a reason they focused mainly on small towns and villages. It seems they are now striking back in cities like Delhi as they think it is an opportune time as people are confused over banking rules post demonetisation,” he added.
A banker from State Bank of India’s branch in old Delhi said he has received inquiries from at least 10 customers saying that they have got such phone calls.
“One of our customer said that he got fake calls from someone who said since he has more than Rs2.5 lakh in the account he needs to share his details else there would be an income-tax raid,” he added.
Conmen are duping people by taking advantage of the demonetisation situation. Here are a few measures that can save you from such men
■ Banks across the country have a policy that they cannot ask for card details including passwords
■ The only thing they can ask if for is name, phone number, address and mobile number to verify the identity of a person but that too if you call and not vice-versa
■ Don’t get confused if their name flashes with some bank’s name on your phone ‘identity tracker’ software
■ The best way to deal with such calls is hang up and block the number
■ In some cases, conmen may know the last four digit of your card number, which they might have received by leaked messages. Do not take it as an authentic call