The recent case of 13 customers of a city cafe being duped of their money because of card cloning raises concern about the safety of digital money.
One needs to be very careful while making card payment. This is something we are advised and do know, but often don’t pay much heed to while entering our pin on card machines.
In a recent case, an employee of Farzi cafe in Connaught Place has been accused of allegedly cloning credit and debit cards of customers, and using them to withdraw around Rs 6,03,500. Cards of 13 customers have been cloned. This raises concern that anyone can be duped of their digital money, and highlights the need for precautionary measures to prevent it.
“Sharing your card details is like giving your digital wallet to someone else. Why would anyone give their digital wallet to someone else?” questions cyber law expert Rakshit Tandon.
Explaining how one can be careful while making card payments, he adds, “One should never give their cards physically to anyone else. While entering the pin, make sure to hide the machine with your hand so that no one else can see the pin. Remove the CVV number at the back of your card with a marker, and save the number somewhere so that you remember it when required.”
In the case of faulty transactions, Rakshit mentions how the Reserve Bank of India announced ‘limited liability’ and ‘zero liability’ for bank customers for any card or online fraudulent activities. “If there is a faulty transaction and the customer reports it to the bank immediately, it is the bank’s responsibility to take care of the fraud. However, any negligence on the part of customer will make the customer have limited liability. Thus, customers should never share their pin with anybody,” he elucidates and adds, “I think banks need to control the number of machines they issue to companies because hackers get access to these devices from the black market. And when any such incident is reported to the police, they should make sure to identify and take immediate action against the point of compromise (POC) of the card. Only this will help reduce such crimes. Finally, the customer must always be aware of his surroundings.”
To avoid such frauds and thefts, restaurateurs give proper training and guidelines to their staff. Zorawar Kalra, owner of Farzi Cafe, says a similar activity could well have happened in any other eatery too. “Giving training in ethics to employees is extremely important. We are now going to teach our staff the importance of staying loyal to customers,” says Zorawar.
Explaining how the rules in all his restaurants have been changed after the incident, he says, “We have limited the staff that can touch a card. We make sure that all transactions happen in front of the customers. Cloning machines can be in anyone’s pockets, so we have strictly banned such gadgets. We also regularly check every staff member’s pocket now. Also, the background checks that we used to do before hiring employees has become very severe. All our employees are asked to undergo immediate police verification.”
Manish Sharma, owner, Molecule Air Bar, Gurgaon, says that he doesn’t allow any of his staff to take cards from customers. “Everytime there’s a request for card payment, a staff member takes the card machine to the table and makes the transaction in front of the customer only. This avoids any chances of cloning,” says Manish.