EMV Chip Based Card Cloning Resulted In Loss Of Rs. 18000 Of A Retired Judge

EMV Card I

EMV originally stood for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa”, the three companies that created the standard. The standard is now managed by EMVCo, a consortium of financial companies. However, in India people and banking institutions are still using the EMV nomenclature and standards. Despite the contrary view, EMV are slightly better secure than traditional magnetic strip based cards. We would cover this aspect in detail in our subsequent articles and share our views with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other banks of India.

Recently a media report claimed that a retired district judge lost Rs 18,000 in a suspected case of debit card fraud within 12 hours gap. One of the three transactions was affected after the judge, G T Wategaonkar, had blocked his card. In a related and previous event, he was travelling to Kothurd and his wallet was misplaced in an autorickshaw. It contained Rs 35,000, his old debit card and Aadhaar card.

“They misused my new EMV chip that was replaced by the bank on December 29. He said his old card was deactivated after he activated the new one. Such cards are supposed to be protected from skimming and stolen card frauds,” he told TOI.

The judge approached the cyber crime police station of the Pune police and gave a complaint application about his loss. “I have also blocked my account to avoid any further fraudulent transactions,” he added.

First he received an SMS stating that Rs 3,000 had been withdrawn from his account. “Before I could contact the bank, another Rs 10,000 was debited. I sent an SMS to the bank to block my card, but it was not delivered. So I called the bank’s number and told the person to block my card.” Wategaonkar said he received an SMS that the card had been blocked and he decided to approach the bank next day. But next day in morning he saw another debit message for Rs 5,000 from his account.

“Along with my daughter, I went to the bank and blocked my account. I told the bank official that I did not share details of my debit card and yet money was siphoned from my account,” Wategaonkar said.

Wategaokar said, “In comparison with huge amounts of recent bank frauds, the amount I have lost is less. But, I am a pensioner and that little amount is important for me. On one hand the government is insisting on using plastic money instead of cash transactions and on the other hand fraudsters are misusing it. I will have to rethink whether to use debit card or not.”

An officer from the cyber police station told TOI that it could be a case of card cloning. “The suspect withdrew the amount from an ATM kiosk in Thane. We will get the CCTV footage from the bank to identity the suspect,” the officer said.