When you go in a restaurant or a grocery shop, you give your credit card for swiping. The salesman returns it back to you in a few seconds. So you return home happy thinking you have got the best purchase. Hold it! There is a catch which many of the users aren’t familiar with. Have you ever heard a word ‘skimming”?
Hmm. Many would stare with a blank expression written all over their face. It’s a technique which uses small card-reading gadget to copy data from the card. It is done so clandestinely that many of us do not realize until we are faced with a staggering credit card bill arriving at our door-step! The ‘act’ is carried out with vengeance and it’s a matter of mere few seconds.
This was apparent with the arrest of two-Nigerians and three Kolkattans. The kingpin of the racket is 37-year-old Nigerian Peter Orenubi Oluwagbenga, his Anglo-Indian “wife” Leeanna Jordasn, his associate Benson who succeeded in hiding his ‘actual’ reason to be in Kolkata rather then playing for a Kolkata based football club, two local lads Manish and Ankit. While Manish met the Nigerian at his fathers sari shop in the up-sclae Camac Stret, Ankit being Manish’s neighborhood buddy played the role of a computer geek after having secured his diploma from GNIIT.
What was very shocking was the ease with which this muti-million theft was carried on. Peter would get the credit card data from his accomplices in US. He would then e-mail this data back to Benson and Leeanna. This data would then be handed over to Manish and Ankit who, with the help of a hacking software would decode the encrypted customer information and transfer it either to a legitimate card issued by any bank or a ‘blank card’ which is freely available in grey market. Once this is done, they would generally make bulk purchase of daily used items like mobile phones, with the intent to resale it. At the time of arrest, they had so far made purchases of Rs. 23 Lakhs. To avoid suspicion, the local duo also made purchases from Mumbai,Patna,Durgapur and Asansol.
If Rs 23 Lakhs worth of purchases detected so far is the tip-of-the-ice-berg , just imagine how big would be the iceberg?