Saturday 30 November 2019

Fraudsters accessed Flipkart, Myntra customer data: Noida cops

Fraudsters accessed Flipkart, Myntra customer data: Noida copsNOIDA: A bogus call centre was shut down and 45 people employed there arrested on Thursday but the investigation will go far beyond the two Noida buildings it operated from. Police said the fraudsters had managed to access customer details of ecommerce biggies Flipkart and Myntra.

Sub-inspector Baljeet Singh of Noida police’s cybercrime cell told TOI that along with details like names, email IDs, shipping addresses and order IDs, the accused were also in possession of data of products bought by customers on Flipkart and Myntra in the past.
Fraudsters accessed Flipkart, Myntra customer data: Noida cops Vaibhav Krishna, the Noida police chief, said the data was “sourced” from Flipkart and Myntra. “But whether it was acquired with authorisation has to be verified in the investigation,” he said. Representatives of Myntra and Flipkart did not respond to calls, emails and text messages for a comment.

The call centre operated out of two separate places in Noida. Among the 45 arrested employees were 22 women. Police said they called customers and introduced themselves as representatives of Flipkart and Myntra, cheating them in the name of giving cashbacks, huge discounts and reward points.

Apart from the customer data of the e-commerce firms, 16 walkie-talkies, 29 mobile phones and two computers were seized by the cybercrime cell of Noida police during the raids in the two buildings in sectors 6 and 7. The call centre was run by Delhi resident Dileep Saroj, who is yet to be nabbed.

Police said the fraudsters had cheated thousands of people across NCR and other cities in the past one and a half years. The callers used three kinds of modus operandi to con targets, and would convince them by sharing details of the previous purchases with the shopping sites.

“One was to call up customers and offer cashback on their previous purchase. The call centre operators would also tell their targets that after the purchase of a particular product, they were offering cashback to the customer on a new product. Further, they would offer discount of between 10% and 20% on their next purchase,” Baljeet Singh said.

“When the customer would order the next item, they would demand anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 10,000 to put the product in the delivery line. Also, they would demand a registration amount from the customers. Many targets would send the money via online transactions through UPI accounts as demanded by the accused,” Singh added.

While the registration and security amount would be charged from the targets, the products would never be delivered as the accused had no actual connection with Flipkart and Myntra, police said.

The strategy didn’t always succeed because e-commerce companies do not operate like this — there is no verbal exchange in an online transaction — but there were many people who fell to the ruse. Police said the big concern was how this call centre had managed to procure customer data.

Police have come across the name of a person, Nandan, who they have identified as the main source of the data. “Only Dileep was in touch with Nandan and how the data landed into his kitty can be explained only by Dileep or Nandan. We are trying to arrest the accused,” Singh said.

Those arrested from the call centre include graduates. Asked about their role in the scam, police said that the accused were fully aware that they had been making fake calls to customers. “They knew that they were not part of Flipkart or Myntra,” said another police officer.

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