Location: Hubli (Karnataka)
Victim: Credit card owners in USA etc
Perpetrator: Sahil Sharma (son of a senior Haryana Govt official)
Amount involved: Rs. 3 lacs ( US $ 6000)
Incident : Sharma worked at a call center sometime in 2006 and was selling mobile phones to international customers. He would note the credit card numbers and used one of the cards to purchase cellphones for about Rs.1.5 lacs from a Hubli based e-commerce site.
The phones were shipped to the Gurgaon (Haryana) address but credit card charge was disputed and the site owner suffered a loss.
Simple - this guy used a card belonging to someone in USA and this person disputed the charge on the card.
However, Mr Sahil Sharma thought he had a good thing going and ordered more phones using two other cards of UK and US origin. The order was placed at the same portal and the site owners identified this as another fraud coming their way by identifying the IP address for the transaction.
A complaint was made to the police and the Dharwad department worked with Chandigarh police to trap Sharma receiving the shipment from a decoy courier.
Police are investigating if this guy has any more crimes to his credit !
Police is sure to find more fraudulent transactions done by him in the past. He has this 'unlimited bank account' which he has been milking since the past two years and small successes would have made him bold enough to make larger transactions.
However, he is obviously a foolish novice because he did not know that his IP address is traceable and that he was engaging in a crime and providing his real address to drop ship the goods. And then he was there in Chandigarh to receive goods purchased with stolen cards !
It was good on the part of the e-commerce site to identify the IP and realize that this was another fraudulent transaction. I do not know the average size of each transaction on the e-commerce website and I am assuming that it is not in the range of 1 - 2 lacs. So I would say that when the first order came in it should have raised a flag - and they should have investigated with a phone call / IP check to confirm this was a genuine high value order.
Or they could have pinched themselves to know it was real :)
I do hope they got back all the phones from the first shipment and Sharma's career is on skid row. His criminal career has ended before it started and he has joined others in the history books of cyber crime in India.
Media / News Coverage:
Deccan Herald (Jan 18, 2009) : Cyber criminal trapped in Hubli
Labels: call centers, credit card, cyber crime, Hubli, information theft, Karnataka