Instances of unsuspecting victims falling prey to ‘vishing’ frauds, in which callers scam people into surrendering their confidential personal information, and then using them for identity theft, are becoming rampant in the city.
While hundreds of vishing cases are reported each year, Mumbai Police’s conviction rate in these cases is quite low. Attempts at burying such cases to keep their numbers on police records low should be avoided, and police should instead actively encourage victims to come forward and report cases even if the amount involved is not high.
Local police stations should keep check on call centres operating in their respective areas of jurisdiction. It is also incumbent on mobile phone service providers to ensure that proper verification of identity and address proof is done while issuing SIM cards, which can help police zero in on fraudsters who call from mobile phonenumbers to perpetrate frauds. Stripping away the anonymity these callers enjoy will make execution of frauds tougher.
Police should launch an aggressive crackdown on vishing cases to send out a strong message to fraudsters, and this should be matched by an equally aggressive awareness campaign on the perils of sharing confidential information over the phone to callers posing as bank executives. Ultimately, it is the average citizen who needs to be more vigilant and refuse to share confidential personal information with a faceless caller.