Ex-minister's debit card found hacked

Ex-minister's debit card found hacked

Although the amount was relatively low––Rs 85,000–– what shocked Sarnayak was that the transactions had taken place across three countries, the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland.

He quickly approached the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) where the cyber crime division registered the case and that is where it has remained stuck as sleuths have not been able to get to the bottom of the vexed case.

Rising crimes

Cyber theft and hacking into people’s bank accounts have been on the rise in the State, especially in Bangalore. In 2009, the CID’s cybercrime division began investigations into 97 hacking-related cases of which 93 involved hacking into bank accounts. These cases were filed under Section 66 of the IT Act.

Senior CID officers told Deccan Herald that Sarnayak’s case could be one of cyber theft, which involves the use of stolen credit and debit cards details for fradulent transactions.
“We are also trying to find out whether hackers might be responsible for stealing his debit card details which they then used online to make  fraudulent transactions,” a senior officer said, adding that Sarnayak’s debit card details might also have been used over phone.

Sarnayak said at least eight transactions reflected on the the Corporation Bank statement for July showed purchases in the range of Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. The values of most of the other transactions were negligible.

“I have no clue what might have happened. I had not visited any of the three countries around the time ––June 27, 28, 29––when the transactions took place,” Sarnayak recalled. But he did reveal that some time in April, he used the debit card to pay for his daughter’s GMAT examination fee. “That payment was made online,” Sarnayak said, indicating that that online transaction might have compromised his card details. After detecting the fraud, Sarnayak requested Corporation Bank, Cantonment branch, to block the debit card.

The CID sleuths are also in the process of finding out the types of purchases the fraudsters or hackers might have made using the Visa debit card. “It is not known whether the expenses were incurred by making purchases online or via phone order,” an officer.

Over the past few years, Eastern Europe has emerged as the centre of a vast enterprise in credit/debit card frauds. What is startling, according to CID sources, is that the hackers based in some of Eastern European countries can take advantage of people anywhere across the globe.

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