It is best to keep your card details a secret, say experts

Do you trust your office computer, your personal bank account or your mobile phone data to store your credit/debit card details? If you do, then here is a piece of information which will shock you. The Delhi Police have recently arrested three men who cloned credit cards of foreign nationals by buying their credit card information from online hackers. The hackers used to take out information from people’s bank accounts and office computers.

This incident has also brought to light that cloning of credit/debit cards is the new growing industry in India and the reasons, cyber experts believe, are many. One of them is that cloning a card these days is as easy as photocopying a document with the innumerable softwares available online. A person just needs to go online, type cloning software and hundreds of them will come up.

Also, the law does not recognise cloning as a separate offence. “Whoever commits hacking is booked under Section 66 of the Information and Technology Act by which he /she is liable to punishment extending up to three years. However, cloning per se is not recognised as an offence under law. It is only when a person is booked under Section 43 of the IT Act and his/her identity is revealed that he/she can be sued for a compensation of up to Rs.5 crore. However, establishing the identity of a cloner is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack,” said cyber expert Pavan Duggal.

The laws are not as tough for cloning and this encourages culprits, Mr. Duggal added.

The worst part is that people do not even realise when their debit/credit cards get cloned. There are no softwares in India currently to detect it. So how can you save your card from getting cloned?

Experts say the best way is to keep your card details secret. “Do not save your credit/debit card information anywhere which is easily accessible. Bank accounts and laptops are the most accessible places for online hackers,” said Mr. Duggal.

When you are swiping you card, make sure that you do it at a secure place and in front of your eyes. Also, keep the limits of your credit card as low as possible. The lower the limit, the lesser the chance of incurring loss in case your card is cloned. Checking your credit/debit card statement once in every three days is also a great idea. That way you can get to know of any unaccounted transaction and if you find something fishy, you can immediately report it to the bank, he added.

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