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Details of Britons’ bank accounts sold

Gulf News | June 24, 2005

Police began an investigation yesterday into the sale of thousands of British bank account details from call centres in India.

Police revealed that they were investigating claims some IT workers in India were offering confidential information for £3 (about Dh20) per account.

Leading banks and building societies including HSBC, Halifax, LLoyds TSB, NatWest, Abbey, Woolwich, Royal Bank of Scotland and Nationwide are all being targeted by identity fraudsters, police said.

London police decided to act after the Sun reported that an Indian fixer had sold them bank account details of more than 1,000 Britons.

Computer expert Kkaran Bahree gathered account holders’ passwords, addr-esses, dates of birth, phone numbers and credit card details from IT staff across the country.

The information could help criminals access accounts, clone credit cards, buy goods and apply for new cards. The three-digit security codes of cards were also offered for sale.

’ Bahree, who is based near Delhi’s 40-strong call centre district, told the newspaper he could pass on details of mortgages, medical bills and mobile phones.

Detective Chief Inspector Oliver Shaw said that while the allegations were serious, such fraud was “relatively rare”.

Ian Mullen, the British Banking Association’s chief executive, said they were concerned but added staff in India were checked as rigorously as workers elsewhere.

His Indian counterparts said they would help any investigation. “We believe any case of theft or a breach of a customer's confidentiality must be treated extremely seriously,” India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies said in a statement.

 

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