Criminal Gangs Steal UK Credit Card Details In India

The BBC has uncovered an underworld market where UK credit card details are routinely stolen by Indian call centre workers and sold to criminal gangs.

The discovery, made by an undercover BBC News investigation, showed that illegally acquired UK names, addresses and credit card details were offered for sale by someone called Saurabh Sachar and based in Delhi, India.

Sachar offered to sell hundreds of credit and debit card details every week for around £7 each. The BBC reporters were able to purchase a first lot of 50 cards but found out that many of the credit card numbers were invalid.

Worryingly, some of the credit card details were obtained after customers purchased applications from security firm Symantec Corporation which launched an internal investigation.

The firm later said that the leak came from a single source - probably a call center operator - who had since been removed.

In a statement, Symantec added that "We have engaged with the local law enforcement officials in India and will cooperate fully with that investigation. We are in the process of reviewing all possible options to manage this third party call centre, including moving away from it".

Some have voiced their concerns over extensive phishing calls made from India with callers trying to get credit card details from punters on the promise that they would get a great bargain.

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Our Comments

India's outsourcing sector has been under intense pressure since the beginning of the year. The Satyam scandal in January, the current global recession, backlash against outsourced jobs and the fear of insider threats could undermine investors' trust in Indian operations. BBC's investigations have almost certainly uncover a tiny portion of the call center frauds and there may be more on the way.

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British credit card details on sale in India: media