Friday, July 4, 2008

Credit card cloning gang stole Rs 1 cr

Gang used credit card details obtained from Pune hotel via a skimmer device to make purchases in Mumbai

The Pune Crime Branch recently visited the city to investigate a credit card cloning case. It led to the arrest of one Asif Zaidi. A few days ago he revealed that purchases were made at Subhiksha, Next and Lakshmi Refrigerators, an electronic store at Andheri using stolen credit card details.

“Zaidi’s arrest led us to Wahid Ansari who was a sales executive at Next electronic store at Chembur and Surendra Mishra, owner of Lakshmi Refrigerators. They allowed fraudulent transactions for a commission,” said inspector Sunil Pawar of the Pune Crime Branch. According to Pawar, Ansari and Mishra are now in police custody.

Purchases worth Rs 6 lakh at Next, Rs 1.5 lakh at Subhiksha and Rs 30 lakh at Lakshmi Refrigerators were made using the stolen card details. The total amount of the fraud amounts to Rs 1 crore. The accused used to sell these electronic goods at lesser prices to traders and individuals, making a huge profit.

The Pune Crime Branch got these details after arresting the four-member gang comprising Zaidi along with Wasim Patel, Obaid Sayyed and Bharat Tansukbhai Soni. A few months ago, Zaidi, had visited Le Meridien hotel in Pune and met Patel, a cashier at the restaurant who gave Zaidi a skimmer, a device used to save swiped credit card details.

“Patel used to swipe credit cards given by customers, mostly foreigners in the skimmer and pass it onto Zaidi, who in turn used to transfer the card details onto expired cards and hand them over to Sayyed and Soni,” said Pawar. “The accused said they bought the skimmer from a Nigerian for Rs 60,000. Zaidi used to give Rs 3,000 to Patel per card details,” said Pawar.

WHAT IS A SKIMMER

A skimmer is a device that captures the details of a card swiped in it, which can be transferred onto a card reader, or laptop.

A magnetic strip in the skimmer reads the credit card details.

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