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More women callers are cheating citizens in credit card frauds, say Mumbai cops

Officials believe this is because these callers are able to build trust with the targets within a short span of time.

mumbai Updated: Nov 12, 2017 01:02 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,vishing,women callers

When Baliram Yadav, an autorickshaw driver, received a call from a woman identifying herself as his bank’s official, Yadav did not expect he would end up losing Rs 24,000 which he had saved. Yadav is one of the many such victims to have fallen prey to vishing calls.

The Mumbai police have noticed a spike in the number of vishing calls being made by women. Officials believe this is because these callers are able to build trust with the targets within a short span of time.

“These women involved in vishing calls are trained to speak in a professional manner and are very soft-spoken. The manner of call catches people off-guard,”said a senior officer, who is investigating such cases.

The officer added, “While we have not segregated the data based on the sex of callers in vishing cases, there is indeed a noticeable number of women callers.”

This year until September, 464 cases of credit/debit card fraud were reported as compared to 320 in the corresponding period last year, according to the Mumbai police.

But how do fraudsters get phone numbers of their targets?

Officials said this has become easier as people keep sharing their numbers at malls, events or online. In some cases, phone data is sold and accessed by fraudsters who target bank account holders. A cybercrime officer said most of the data purchase is made by Nigerian callers, who resell it in the black market.

Officials have also found cheats are taking advantage of people’s confusion over linking Aadhaar card to the mobile number.

These callers, police suspect, function in an organized way.

“In some cases, a person would employ a group of four to five people and run the racket like a call centre at a micro level. Each person would be given a basic phone to make a specific number of calls daily.These callers are paid as little as Rs 5,000, but get incentives for duping each person,” said a senior officer. The callers employed in such rackets are mostly unemployed.

“Users do not pay attention to the golden rule that bank officials will not call asking for financial and personal details. One way to avoid being duped is save the bank’s number in your phone to identify genuine bank calls — even in that case, the bank officials will never ask for OTP,” said Vicky Shah, a cyber-crime investigation expert.

The only way to make oneself secure is awareness, he added.

Shah believes with Aadhaar and SIM card linking, most of these fraudulent calls will stop.

“As the current offline mode of SIM card issuance is in play, fake documents are used to get a connection. With the Aadhaar implementation, the number of such fraudulent calls will reduce to almost negligible,” said Shah.

First Published: Nov 12, 2017 01:02 IST

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