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Phone calls demanding your details may put you in a soup

Fraudsters duping people on the pretext of information confirmation, or presenting lucrative offers, are on the prowl

If you are being offered a privilege card over the phone by someone claiming to be a bank executive, beware. Chances are high that instead of a bank employee, a cyber criminal is calling you. These scammers are such trained professionals, they will speak in fluent English and offer attractive deals and also transfer your call on IVR to make it sound genuine.


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Don't bank on it
According to a complainant, one Sandesh Bhalerao, a Delhi-based company --PLAT5 -- called him on behalf of a leading bank and offered attractive shopping deals. They also disclosed his address and other details to him, to sound authentic. "I got a call from Plat5 Consultancy from Delhi (+911409560031). They had my address details with them. They contacted me stating that since I am a privileged credit card customer for the bank, they would issue me another shopping card which will give me 25 per cent discount on all purchases as well as free gifts, like holiday packages. They even said that the call was being recorded for quality control," Sandesh said .

"They said that nothing will be charged and the card will be issued in 10-15 days. For this reason, I agreed. As they had my basic details, so without smelling any foul play, I answered some more of their questions and verified my credit card expiry date. Further, they told me for online verification purpose, I need to get the OTP (one time password) from the bank, which I did. Then they transferred my call to IVR and I entered the 16-digit card number, its expiry date, CVV number and the OTP. The person was online during this process," Sandesh informed.

Booked and verified
"The verification was successful and they provided me with a booking number (59061). Even though I had not entered an amount anywhere, immediately I received an SMS on my mobile which read, "Thank you for using your card ending with XXXX for Rs 4964.00 in New Delhi at IVRPlat5 Consultancy P on 2011-11-08: 12:27:10." I then realised that all this was fraud," Sandesh said in his complaint to the bank.

Sandesh, however, is not alone to suffer at the hands of such criminals. Similar was the experience of other customers who were duped in a similar fashion. One Gaurav Singhal said, "In the month of October, I got a call from a Plat5 Privilege Holidays sales person told me about some interesting offers, like 25 per cent discount on every purchase et al. They told me that the card was totally free for the first year, after which, if I am interested, I have to pay Rs 4,964 for the second year. Then for direct customer verification, they asked me for the IVR. But in my card statement I found they had already deducted Rs 4,964. They have forcefully sold me the card which I never bought".

The bank claims they are not in contract with any such company and they do not authorise any private firm to ask for credit card details from their customers. Customers should not disclose there details on phone or email. They are also enquiring into the matter. MiD Day tried to find the fraudulent Plat5 Company but could not get in touch. The number provided by the complainant is unavailable.

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