Petrol bunk employee turns skimmer
Cops Arrest 13, Including A Fuel Outlet Staffer
Who Copied Credit Card Details
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Chennai: It seems a hotel waiter, a petrol filling station employee, or a mall employee could be part of a credit card skimming racket. In Chennai, it was a petrol bunk employee.
The police have busted a racket that skimmed credit and debit cards and arrested 13 persons. The bunk employee — the first in the chain of arrests — used a hand-held device to copy the details embedded in the magnetic strip of cards and pass it on to others in his gang to manufacture fake cards (see gfx on right). The police said the gang worked by roping in employees of petrol stations and hotel waiters to skim the credit card details of their customers. The network spread across states and had made purchases up to Rs 5 crore using fake cards.
The arrested were Manoj Kumar, Premal, Sabareesh alias Sabari Rajan, Justin alias Sudhanandan and Udhayakumar. The five were nabbed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths. A card reader and writer machine, skimmer machine, embossing machine, automatic embossing machine, encoder machine, dipping machine, 407 fake credit cards, 868 blank credit cards, computer, mobiles, laptops and a Honda Civic car were seized from the arrested.
City police commissioner T Rajendran said, “We received eight complaints of credit card fraud, which looked similar. While talking to each of the complainants, it turned out that all of them had used their credit cards at a particular petrol bunk in Anna Nagar. We sent decoys to the petrol station and nabbed a staffer, Justin alias Sudhananadan.
He confessed to being part of the racket for many years.” Justin passed on the credit and debit card particulars to Udhayakumar, the commissioner said. Special teams nabbed Udhayakumar, who led the police to Sabari Rajan, a resident of Palavakkam in south Chennai.
CCB deputy commissioner of police C Sridhar said, “Manoj Kumar was the boss of the gang. He picked up the trade from Umesh alias Jatti, a Sri Lankan settled in Canada”. Umesh was arrested by CCB in March this year for card fraud. Manoj collected the card details through his agents in Chennai and other cities. He had been to Malaysia where he got in touch with Akbar alias Abdullah, who supplied him blank credit cards to prepare facsimile cards.
The fakes were distributed to card runners across Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Puducherry. The card runners made high-value purchases and then sold them in black market to make money. The cash is bundled to the boss, who shared the bounty among his agents.
HOW THEY DO IT
CREDIT CARD FRAUDSTERS HAVE IMPORTED HIGH-END TECHNOLOGIES TO PRODUCE FAKE CARDS FROM MALAYSIA AND CHINA. MANOJ, THE KINGPIN, EVEN GOT TRAINING IN MALAYSIA TO OPERATE THESE MACHINES
THE SKIMMER: When a credit/ debit card is run through a skimmer, the device memorises the card information. The data is transferred from the skimmer to a computer through a USB cable. Malls and petrol bunk staff could be roped in to wield skimmers
AUTOMATIC EMBOSSING MACHINE: The stolen data is fed to a sophisticated automatic embossing machine, which uploads the data on to the magnetic strip of a fake card
MACHINE FOR EMBOSSING NAME, EXPIRY DATE AND CARD NUMBER: The criminals use it to emboss the name and details of their choice on the credit card though the magnetic strip has a different name and account details
TIPPING MACHINE: When the embossing machine prints raised letters, they will appear in white. The tipping machine is used to colour these letters to match the colour pattern on the original card
THE FINAL PRODUCT:
These cards matching the original are ready for card runners, who first high-value purchases and then sell them to make money
When you hand over your credit card to pay your petrol bill, the employee there runs the card through a skimming machine on the sly
The skimming machine copies your card details, which are downloaded on to a computer using a USB cable. The details are used to make a fake card
The fake card is be used by the card runner to purchase high-end products, which are then sold in black market for money. Then money is distributed among members of the racket
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