Accounts of contact less debit and credit card users at risk

City Technology

Over a dozen fraud cases have been registered with the city cybercrime police station in Bengaluru in past one month. By Abhinav Kumar

Contactless debit and credit card users in Bengaluru are under higher risk of banking frauds. Around 15 cases have been registered with the Cyber Crime Cell in the month of October.

 Such cards operate through Near Field Communication (NFC), a technology that enables devices to use radio-frequency identification to establish contact while in proximity. It can be connected to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It allows communication between NFC-enabled objects at a minimum distance of 4 centimeters.

Saket Sagar, an employee of Wipro, said, “Last month while going to my office in metro, I received a message from the bank saying Rs. 2000 has been deducted from my account through my debit card. I was shocked because I had not swiped my card.”

Anish Kumar, who is a student, also complained about money being deducted from his account while he was near KR market. He had reported about the fraud to his bank and the cyber-crime cell.

Sharad Saurav, an employee of Mindtree, said that he had faced a similar situation, when he was around Forum Mall in Koramangala. He did not know about the fraud until he saw a YouTube video about a similar experiences. He later lodged a complaint at the cyber crime police station.

The cards have a Wi-Fi like symbol, which represents Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). That symbol means anyone can tap the card on the reader without the user swiping the card. The card emits a code by short wave communication. The information is emitted as the card is brought near the reader.

It only takes a person to be less than four to six inches away from you while you use the card, to steal the information of the cardholder. They can then transfer the information and use it without the person’s knowledge.

Investigative officer at Cyber Crime Police Station, Prashant Babu, said  that cyber crimes are very prominent these days and it is also difficult to track such criminals. It takes at least 15 to 20 days’ time to solve one case.

Tech expert, Adarsh K, said, “It’s easy for a credit card fraud criminal to target a person even if he never takes card out of his wallet. For protection from these people, RFID blocking wallet can be used. It costs around Rs. 700. One can also wrap the card in aluminum foil to block the signal.”