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Credit data stolen at Indian call centres, says London daily

by editor2
October 1st, 2006

London: A leading London daily today claimed that credit card data, along with passport and driving licence numbers, are being stolen from call centres in India and sold to the highest bidder.

“Middlemen are offering bulk packages of tens of thousands of credit card numbers for sale. They even have access to taped telephone conversations in which British customers disclose sensitive security information to call centre staff,” The Sunday Times reported quoting “an investigative” report by Channel 4 to be shown next Thursday.

Last June, an HSBC employee in Bangalore was arrested after 230,000 pounds was stolen from British customers’ accounts. HSBC said the theft in Bangalore was an isolated incident and the new investigation did not highlight any breaches in its security.

“We’ve been running call centres in India for five years and the security record of those centres is equal to or better than the similar centres in any other country in the world in which we operate, and that includes the UK,” it said.

During the investigation for Channel 4’s Dispatches, one middleman offering stolen data, Sushant Chandak, offered to sell a database with the credit card details of 200,000 people as commercial “leads”. At a meeting in Kolkata, he boasted of a network of agents in call centres across India.

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