Around 100 customers of the government-owned State Bank of India (SBI) were recently targeted by a group of hackers from Canada who cloned their gold debit cards and siphoned off Rs 1.26 crore from their accounts.
The SBI fears that this figure will increase as many complaints are still pending.
On Friday, the SBI lodged a complaint at the Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell saying that so far more than 100 customers have made complaints that they have been targeted by hackers.
It has also not ruled out the possibility that SBI officials posted in Canada were involved.
“We received the first complaint in June when three customers holding gold debit cards starting with the series ‘511878’ told us that someone fraudulently withdrew money using their card for shopping.
“The customers complained that transactions took place in Canada even as the debit card was in their custody here,” a senior SBI official told Mail Today on condition of anonymity.
The public sector bank realised the gravity of the matter when a number of IAF officers and heads of various companies complained about fraudulent transactions.
“During an internal inquiry done by the SBI officials, it was found that a group of professional hackers were targeting customers holding same series of debit cards by cloning them.
“It was also noticed that these cards were valid in various countries, including Canada. Immediately, the SBI’s Toronto branch situated at Royal Bank Plaza was contacted,” the SBI official said.
When SBI officials approached the Canadian Police regarding the fraudulent transactions, they were directed to approach the local police.
“The corporate centre at Mumbai approached our subsidiary SBI’s Toronto Branch in Ontario, which approached the sleuths there on July 22.
“Later, the Canadian authorities told us that we should contact our local police who in turn could seek their assistance,” a senior SBI official wrote in his complaint to the Delhi Police.
The Air Force has already registered an FIR with the Delhi Police in connection with over 50 cases of fraudulent withdrawal of money from SBI accounts of its officers posted across India.
The case was registered on Wednesday evening following the complaint of the Commanding Officer of IAF’s Provost and Security Unit, Wing Commander Tejveer Singh.
“Due to territorial issue, it will be tough for us to investigate the matter. A case under Section 66 and 66D of the IT Act has been registered.
“It seems that hackers have mined information of SBI customers. Such acts are not possible without the involvement of people within the organisation. The SBI officials posted in Canada are on our radar,” said a senior police officer investigating the matter.