CHENNAI: The city police recently busted a gang of ‘vishers’ who were working in collusion with a gang in Delhi. However, such gangs are still thriving, posing a challenge to cops as well as bank authorities, who repeatedly urge netizens to be alert.
The latest vishing attempt reported was on a young professional in Chennai, who received a call from a fraudster posing as an SBI employee, trying to extract details of his credit card and other sensitive information.
Mahesh, a sales manager in a private firm, had received the call from a person claiming to be from SBI, around 2 pm on Tuesday.
The caller told him that the bank had decided to upgrade security features by incorporating the photograph of the card holder and a microchip following numerous complaints about credit card frauds. For good measure, the caller added that these cards were being issued only by his ‘Master/Visa Verification department’.
The man, who called from the number +918287789842, had asked for details including the date of birth of the customer, which was required for recreating the verified by visa (VBV) or master secure code (MSC) in order to do any online transaction.
Mahesh, who grew suspicious, asked the man whether he could get the card by applying in person from the branch. But the caller replied in the negative. When the person insisted on providing his credit card number, Mahesh told him he had seen warnings not to share such information. Then, to gain his confidence, the caller gave a 10-digit mobile helpline number.
Mahesh told Express that the number from which he received the call appeared to be a call centre. The person who attended the call did not provide any information other than that the facility operated from Avadi.
“It is impossible to get a card without having made any written application and a signature. Moreover, I have only a savings account with SBI, my credit card was not from SBI,” Mahesh said, adding that his friend too received a call from the same number and did not reveal any details.
“Besides cracking down on vishing gangs, we have been insisting banks to sensitise their customers not to share their card details with anyone at any cost. We have arrested two from Delhi in this regard and are planning to quiz three more, who are already jailed in Gujarat for their role in this racket,” said a senior police official privy to investigations into such cases in the city.
While a questionnaire sent to the State Bank of India’s Central branch did not elicit any response, P Suresh, DGM-SBI, ATM, Internet and e-transactions in Chennai, said that the only way to prevent such incidents was to educate customers about such frauds.
“The only way these frauds can harm one is if customers reveal their account and card details over the phone, which SBI constantly cautions against. Our own colleagues have got such calls. When reports of such calls come in, SBI automatically forwards them to the cyber crime police unit,” he said.
“Our Internet banking website also has a prominent warning against giving out any information over the phone/email, and a link to report such attempts. Our department automatically forwards these reports to the cyber crime cell,” he added.