Unlike popular belief, most of the accused arrested for financial frauds through “phone phishing” and ATM theft by the Noida Cyber Cell are tech-savvy, but aren’t professional hackers and have either studied only till Class 12 or are graduates.
“These people can hardly be called hackers, but they are well aware of the technology and they know how things work. They find loopholes around the current system and are able to fool people through phone phishing easily. This is more of a lifestyle choice they have made. They want easy money and they want it fast. So, they actually work real hard and prepare all they can to bluff unsuspecting victims,” said Dinesh Yadav, Superintendent of police, Noida.
In 2015, a total of 830 cases were registered by the Noida cyber cell, among which 551 cases were of financial frauds. Most of these accused captured by the police belong to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Among the 551 cases of financial frauds were 129 job-related frauds, 343 debit and credit card frauds and 80 lottery frauds.
“There are several job portals that maintain a database of all the prospective employees looking for jobs in various sectors. Fraudsters buy subscription from these job portals impersonating as companies looking for human resource and get access to the profiles of job seekers. They look for easy and desperate targets who can be lured with catchy but fraudulent job offers,” an official in the cyber cell said.
On the other hand, most of the “phone phishing” cases are done by people who have worked in call centers before. “These people are not so well versed in English, but with their experience in call centers, they have learned how to write a convincing script. They train their accomplices and make them rehearse the script at length. This is one of the reasons that even educated people who already know about phone phishing are not able to detect trickery,” said a police office.
“It makes you wonder how they get hold of the mobile number, the name of the person and the name of the bank that the person holds an account in. There are ‘data broker’ companies that maintain databases. It is important to keep a check on what information is being shared with whom. The banks need to be extra cautious if they outsource their services. The job portals, too, should verify the authenticity of their customers,” an official in the cyber cell said.