Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cyber cell to crack e-frauds - - 8 Mar 09

BHUBANESWAR: Before the courier guy delivers you the credit card, your account has been compromised. Cuttack Police received three such cases in a month and is still groping in the dark as how to crack the mystery.

At Jaleswar in Balasore district, three accounts including that of a teacher were ‘phished.’ The teacher could be tracked and returned the cash. More such cases have been reported in neighbouring West Bengal. Incidence of fraudulent activities is regularly reported from technical college students.

With banking sector going hi-tech, online frauds are here to stay. Going by experts, Orissa has to guard against the trend as its economy is on take-off stage. The mushrooming of super bazaars and malls, mostly in Bhubaneswar and other top cities is just an example.

The IT-driven banking has necessitated the police to augment its efforts. The Commissionerate Police have decided to come up with a specialised wing to deal with cyber crimes and economic offences. As part of the police modernisation, the new cell will function in 2009-10.

‘‘Banking procedures have increasingly become consumer-centric to facilitate transactions but at the same time, it has become increasingly complicated for investigating agencies like police,’’ said Commissioner of Police Bijay Kumar Sharma.

At a workshop on ‘Bank frauds: Prevention and Investigation,’ organised jointly by ICICI Bank and Commissionerate of Police, officers from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack were informed about the various aspects of banking frauds and how understanding of technology can help investigation process.

According to government statistics, over 13,000 credit card fraud cases were reported in India between April and December. The loss of revenue stood at approximately Rs 36.5 crore. A third of loss in such transactions belonged to ICICI Bank which reported over 11,000 cases.

Sharma had a word of caution to his officers. With banks fanning out to the nook and cranny with new branches to acquire base, the use of ATM as well as cards will grow.

The incidence of fraud will rise which is why police are required to acquaint themselves with the new age crimes and the modus operandi.

While the Crime Branch of Orissa Police has a cyber crime cell, the wing of the Commissionerate of Police is planning to post an officer who is trained in computer programming. ‘‘An officer trained in C-DAC will be posted when the cell operates,’’ Sharma said.

The executives of ICICI Bank explained counterfeiting, skimming of cards and measures to identify them. Chief Manager Sekhar Bannerji and Regional Manager Saibal Sen spoke.

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