Delhi café staff booked for ‘cloning’ cards, duping customers of Rs 6 lakh
An employee of Farzi Café, an eating joint in Connaught Place, has been booked for allegedly cloning credit and debit cards of customers, and using them to withdraw around Rs 6,03,500. While the accused is on the run, the police on Tuesday registered an FIR against the employee based on a complaint filed by HDFC bank.
Delhi Police officials suspect it to be a case of card cloning as all the unwarranted transactions were allegedly made when the customers had the cards with them. Credit card cloning is a method by which someone obtains credit card details and copies them onto a duplicate card and uses it to make transactions.
Waiters, shop assistants, courier boys and even MBA graduates have been arrested in the past for stealing vital information, making clone cards and spending crores of rupees.
“HDFC bank gave us a complaint regarding cloning of debit card of their customers. They stated that some transactions were made from their accounts without their knowledge, that too at Farzi cafe. They mentioned at least 13 cases where these transaction were made. Based on the complaint we have registered a case of cheating under sections 420 at Barakhamba police station and have identified the accused. The investigation is on. The arrest will soon be made,” DCP New Delhi, BK Singh said.
Police investigations revealed that the 13 customers, details of whom were provided by the bank, had at some point of time visited Farzi Café.
“He used to take the debit card with him on the pretext of getting the card machines and cloned it. He then used to secretly watch the customer enter the PIN number and later used that pin to withdraw more cash. He had done it over 8-10 times,” a senior police officer said. He added, “He mostly did it on weekends when the pub used to be crowded.”
Cloning of cards is often done using a device that can be easily purchased, or ordered online. Customers’ credit cards are discreetly swiped through these devices that can store information. The information from the swiped cards is then be copied on to fake cards.
The café said it had first brought the case to the police’s notice on April 15 and identified the suspect, Mohammad Badrul Islam Barduiya, their employee. “We started an internal investigation as soon as the bank alerted us about the incidents. Through the CCTV footage of our restaurant we were able to identify the suspect. He had been absconding for almost a month before the information even reached us. We tried several times to contact him but we couldn’t. Barduiya is a native of Assam and had stopped showing up for work from mid-March,” said Zorawar Kalra, owner of the café.
The restaurant found that he had attended to all these customers and his actions too looked suspicious in the footage, Kalra added. “Our processes have been strengthened to a very high level ever since,” he said.