Indian BPOs selling Britons’ bank data for pennies?

August 2nd, 2011 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 2 (IANS) Thousands of British citizens’ bank and credit card details held by call centres in India are allegedly being sold for pennies, putting individuals’ confidential account details at a risk of being cleared out by rogues.

In an exclusive report, The Sun has revealed how dealers, supplied with the confidential data by corrupt staff, are offering it for sale.

In one instance, a sinister seller told undercover Sun investigators that he could sell them details of 80,000 customers every week and boasted that he already had British clients, including one who weekly buys the data on 100,000 people.

On Monday night, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, a national law enforcement agency in Britain, launched an investigation after The Sun handed over its evidence.

Britain’s Fraud Prevention Service CIFAS termed the findings “an absolute bombshell”.

CIFAS’ communications manager Richard Hurley said: “I am astounded. The information being traded is everything a criminal needs to clear out an account or steal an identity.”

“That this is happening on an industrial scale is enough to make anyone shudder. This is a wake-up call. Security processes and staff vetting need to be reviewed.”

The Sun’s team bought the details of 1,000 British customers from the dealer for 250 pounds ($407).

The paper claims its team was given bank account details, personal data and credit card numbers with the three-digit CVV security code, needed for use on the phone or web. There were even online account passwords.

The dealer was tracked down via a website where Indian traders, with access to call centre data, seek black market buyers.

The undercover team posed as villains who were setting up a dodgy insurance company in Nepal to target Britain.

Seller Deepak Chuphal, a former call centre worker, emailed them a “sample” - a spreadsheet containing details of 21 Barclays and Lloyds TSB customers.

Chuphal met the team in Gurgaon city, located near Delhi. While showing pages of British customers on his laptop, Chuphal said: “It’s taken from broadband when they do a direct debit.”

“For the name, number, address, bank name, sort code, account number - that’s 25 pence. It’s easy, it’s big business.”

He later emailed the team personal details of hundreds of customers of banks and internet service providers, including BT, Virgin Media, NTL and Tiscali.

Chuphal, in another meeting, claimed to have over 25 insiders at nine call centres. Directors or team leaders make about 400 pounds a month by stealing data - doubling their salaries.

He also said that every week he could sell details of 5,000 British credit card holders, 25,000 bank accounts and the personal profiles of 50,000 people.

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