Over 30,000 bank customers cheated in 2012: D’Costa


 With cyber frauds on the rise, more than 30,000 bank customers all over the world were cheated to the tune of 36 million Euros in the year 2012 itself.
This was revealed by the Pune-based cyber expert, Dr Harold D’Costa, who is the director of the Intelligent Quotient Security System.
Speaking to this paper, Dr D’Costa said that thorough investigation has unearthed that these frauds are possible as the online banking customers have no idea about their computers being infected with Trojan, which is spy software.
Speaking further, Dr D’Costa said that these Trojans gain entry into a computer through various ways and some of these are through attachments to emails from unknown persons or through the installation of pirated self-ware. Computers are also infected with Trojans when one visits pornographic websites or in the absence of good anti-virus software on the computer and also through the transfer of data from mobile phone to computer and vice versa. Allowing unauthorised persons to use computers could also result in such cyber frauds.
Explaining how such frauds are committed, Dr D’Costa said that debit cards are normally used by people to book tickets or for purchases made during shopping. Giving an example, he said that if a person wants to book an online ticket through his debit card, he will enter the debit card number, account holder’s name, expiry date of the debit card and the CVV number. After entering the details, the person is usually directed to a secured payment site where he has to enter either a password or ATM pin number of the card. If the computer used by the person for the online transaction is infected with Trojan, then all the information is remotely transferred to the hacker, who can then use the details to cheat the person by preparing a duplicate card with the details and use it for transactions like purchases etc. The victim will come to know about this only after he receives an SMS on his cellphone when the transaction is done (fraud committed).
Advising victims of such cyber frauds not to panic in case they are cheated, Dr D’Costa suggested a few steps they should follow. He said that the victim should report the matter to the nearest police station within 24 hours of receiving the SMS. He also said that the matter should be properly investigated by the police by taking all the relevant details from the complainant and requesting the concerned bank to block the debit card.
If the bank is communicated within 24 hours of receiving the SMS, it can reverse the entry and the account holder’s lost money can be saved and transferred back to his account. However, this has to be done within 24 hours. And for this to happen, banks should have call centres working 365 days a year, with a quality response team to report such complaints to the law enforcement agencies on an urgent basis. If the bank fails to provide the information within the stipulated time, the bank could be liable and would be responsible to customers in accordance with provisions of the Information Technology Act 2008.
In a recent judgement in Maharashtra, a bank was directed to pay Rs 45 lakh to the adjudicating officer in order to compensate a cyber fraud victim. The bank was directed to pay the amount for failure and neglect in handling the matter proactively as well as providing inadequate security to the e-banking system. The IT Secretary of the state can be designated as an adjudicating officer for cyber frauds involving money. Mr D’Costa said that in this month itself, a top government official’s credit card was hacked and transactions worth Rs 80,000 were effected by a hacker in different parts of the world. [NT]