Complaints from customers flood police grievance cell

Recently, there has been a rise in cases of hackers targeting bank accounts with huge balances, especially those belonging to celebrities.

The city police have received many complaints about bank frauds, notably, from a famous sportsperson and from a member of a well-known family involved in film production.

Reliable sources with the Indian Bank said the sportsperson, who is also a television commentator and holds an account with the nationalised bank, lost Rs. 7.45 lakh towards the end of 2013, after a hacker sent two e-mails to the branch manager pretending to be the sportsperson.

“The culprit changed one alphabet in the sportsman’s name and sent an e-mail with the client’s bank account number and other details, asking for a transfer of money to an ICICI Bank account. Treating the request as a genuine one, the manager approved the money transfer,” said a representative of the bank.

Sources with the Central Crime Branch of the city police confirmed that a complaint had been received from a representative of the sportsperson and said a thorough probe is under way.

Similarly, online fraudsters also targeted the account of a woman who is part of a family involved in Tamil movie production for decades. A whopping amount of Rs. 27 lakh was siphoned from the victim’s account at Indian Overseas Bank after the culprit hacked into the online bank account, and sent an e-mail to the bank representatives.

The bank failed to verify the source of the e-mail and transferred the sum. Following a complaint to the city police, the bank took responsibility and refunded the money to the customer, police sources said.

According to a city-based risk management expert, culprits with adequate computer knowledge gather account details of customers by sending phishing mails or by buying customers account details from employees of banks’ back offices or even by getting hold of bank statements sent through courier.

Many complaints about online bank frauds and ‘Nigerian scams’ have flooded the city police’s grievance cell.

While the police have been warning people to exercise caution while operating online bank accounts, they have also advised bank representatives to ensure better monitoring and verify requests for irregular transfers of large sums of money.

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