ROURKELA: Even as electronic financial transactions are being given a push and people of Rourkela are getting used to e-money or mobile banking after demonetisation, local police lack the expertise to handle economic cyber crime. There is no foolproof protection for users against frauds in electronic financial transactions.
Police said at least 50 cases of e-wallet frauds, mostly involving Mobikwik and PayTM, reported over a period of past four years, are pending with Rourkela district police. A tech-savvy gang operating from Jamtara district of Jharkhand is responsible for the frauds, but the Rourkela police are handicapped by lack of manpower and technical expertise. According to a senior cop, police’s cyber ability is limited to mobile phone tracking.
In January 2007, the Rourkela police, with the help of Mumbai-based ‘ebay,’ had busted an economic cyber crime racket by arresting four persons, including a police constable, following unauthorised online buying and selling transactions to the tune of over `12.5 lakh.
In July 2009, a Mumbai-based hacker K Avinash Jha had cleaned up `18,200 from a city resident’s Axis bank account. In the following years, online monetary frauds continued, but during 2013, there was spurt of ATM frauds till the Sundargarh district police arrested three cyber criminals of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. In another instance, a debit card user of Rajgangpur town in 2013 had lost `11,300 after he used his card for a purchase at a computer shop of Rourkela. The list is long.
Notwithstanding these cases, the bank authorities claim electronic monetary transactions are safe provided users follow standard safety practices.
SBI Regional Manager BB Das said users must be extra cautious by not sharing sensitive details of plastic money instruments and also disable other apps while using authorised genuine mobile banking App.
Incidentally, electronic transactions are on the rise following a ban on Specified bank notes. About half of 600 Point of Sale (PoS) machines of SBI at Rourkela were idle, but now they are put to use and applications for 350 more PoS machines are pending. Axis Bank Branch Manager Keshav Maitra said there are about 30 PoS machines of the bank at Rourkela and one Quick Response Code facility is working at Omfed parlour Sector-4.
A SBI source admitted that there is no mechanism to compensate a victim of online fraud, while Rourkela SP Anirudh Singh advised users to be careful and said technical capacity building of the force is underway.