Tech-Savvy Frauds on Prowl, Gullible Customers in Panic
With tech-savvy frauds sitting at far-flung areas continuing to siphon off hefty amounts through online banking transactions, the gullible customers in Sundargarh and neighbouring districts have been left panicked as there is little protection for them.
Lack of technical manpower with the local police and low awareness among the customers are only helping the cyber criminals.
A railway employee, Mithilesh Kumar of Birmitrapur town who lost `98,000 a few days ago, claimed that he had not revealed his ATM-cum-debit card and PIN details to anybody. But, investigators believe that unknowingly he or his family members must have given the details of the card to the tricksters.
If Mithilesh was the victim of sophisticated fraud in which the tricksters made four online purchases, another man of Kuanrmunda was victim of the old trick in which he swiped the ATM card and pressed password at the ATM kiosk of SBI, but left halfway as the keyboard malfunctioned. Police said it appeared that the trickster, who was waiting nearby, jammed some specific buttons of the keyboard with some glue and later removed it to withdraw ` 10,000.
In October, a special team of Sundargarh police arrested Nitu Kumari (23), Kumal Prasad (23) and Sagar Rawani (20) from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and seized two laptops, seven mobile phones, 22 SIM cards and seven ATM cards from them. The three persons were arrested after made online purchase worth `30,650 from SBI account of a Raiboga-based person.
But, the exercise was hectic for the police team. Sundargarh SP Sanjeev Arora claimed that a big racket specialising in illegal online transactions using ATM technology is behind it. He said they are working to go to the root of the racket whose members appeared to be staying in different States.
Investigators said the racket members target gullible ATM users of Odisha and Bengal. One of their modus operandi is to pose as bank authorities and extract ATM details from bank customers with the plea of ATM card verification.
Police sources said the frauds are also active in Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts and chiefly target SBI customers. Ironically, the local police usually refrain from registering such cases due to lack of technical expertise.