A 45-year-old Bulgarian man who was arrested for allegedly cloning debit and credit cards targeted mostly overseas customers of international banks, said the cyber police.
Milcho Angelov, according to an official, stole the data from a country and used cloned cards to withdraw money from ATMs of international banks in India.
The police are probing two angles as how or from whom he had received the stolen data. They suspected that either he had sourced it either from someone or through skimmers, which are planted in ATMs to capture and store card details. He allegedly copied the stolen data on cards.
- An unidentified woman posing as a bank official recently cheated a 32-year-old rickshaw driver of Rs24,000 on the pretext of renewing his debit card. No arrests have been made.
- According to Santacruz police, the driver, Baliram Yadav, received a call on April 16 at 8 am from the woman who identified herself as an official from his bank.
- “She told Yadav that his debit card was old and would be blocked unless renewed. She asked him for the 16-digit number on the card. She called him again to get the one time password (OTP) which he had received on his mobile phone. After receiving all information, she disconnected the call,” said a police officer.
- Within a few minutes, eight messages flashed on his mobile, saying Rs 24,000 was debited from his bank account, said the officer.
- Yadav called his bank and got the card blocked.
- The Santacruz police have registered a case under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 C (punishment for identity theft) of the Information Technology Act with .
The police have not ruled out the involvement of more people who may have helped him.
Angelov managed to get a permanent account number (PAN) card using fake documents, showing he was a resident of Antop Hill in Bandra, said the official. “He had spent lakhs on poker in Goa and was known in the gambling circles there. He has come to India several times since 2013. He has been living here on a tourist visa for months now,” another source told HT.
Besides, he had splurged lakhs on shopping, the source added.
The fraud came to light when an ATM at Juhu retained his card after he had keyed in a wrong password thrice. Based on CCTV footage, the police arrested him when he went to some other place to withdraw money. In a raid on his house in Andheri (East), the police seized 250-odd plain golden coloured cards, magnetic strips and around Rs60,000 from him.
Cyber expert Ritesh Bhatia said, “It is possible that a person can steal data from one country, clone it and use it in other countries to siphon off money.”