To Pro­tect Call Cen­tres, Nasscom Calls Cops

In­dus­try body to form a panel with West Ben­gal po­lice to pre­vent cy­ber­crime and data frauds in the BPO space

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Neha.Alawadhi @times­group.com

New Delhi: Nasscom will be work­ing with the West Ben­gal Po­lice to set up a co­or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee to pre­vent cy­ber­crime and data frauds, es­pe­cially in the busi­ness process out­sourc­ing (BPO) space. The ini­tia­tive will set up a nodal cell that will be sup­ported by cy­ber foren­sic labs, and will work to carry out sur­veil­lance and in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as well as put pre­ven­tive prac­tices in place. “Nasscom has put to­gether a task force in or­der to po­si­tion In­dia as the safest out­sourc­ing des­ti­na­tion in the world. Early on, Nasscom came to the con­clu­sion that ac­tive co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion on ac­tion with the law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties would be key for the prompt re­dres­sal of the sit­u­a­tion and in send­ing out a strong mes­sage that fraud­u­lent KESHAVMURUGESH, acts would not go un­pun­ished,” said Keshav Mu­rugesh, chair­man of Nasscom BPM Coun­cil.

The prob­lem is not a new one. Cases of data fraud and steal­ing sen­si­tive cus­tomer data such as credit card in­for­ma­tion by BPO em­ploy­ees based in In­dia have been re­ported as far back as 2005, when five em­ploy­ees of a com­pany called MsourcE — the BPO arm of Mpha­siS BFL—were ar­rested for si­phon­ing off funds worth nearly half a mil­lion dol­lars.

Last year in May, the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion of the US set­tled claims in a cy­ber fraud case that came to light in 2012. It in­volved a com­pany called Amer­i­can Credit Crunch­ers and its owner, Varang Thaker, who were charged with “vic­tim­is­ing con­sumers who had re­ceived or in­quired about on­line pay-day loans,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment on FTC’s web­site.

The case ended last year with the FTC re­turn­ing $16,428.74 to the af­fected cus­tomers.

More re­cently, in Oc­to­ber 2015, Bri­tish tele­com group TalkTalk was at the re­ceiv­ing end of a ma­jor data breach that led to the theft of de­tails of nearly 157,000 of its cus­tomers, in­clud­ing their bank ac­count num­bers. Fol­low­ing the at­tack, three Wipro call cen­tre em­ploy­ees in Kolkata were ar­rested by the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

Point­ing out that cases of cy­ber fraud are not limited to In­dia, Mu­rugesh said: “Th­ese fraud- sters use co­er­cion/pres­sure tac­tics on un­sus­pect­ing cus­tomers glob­ally, of­ten utilise the anonymity of in­ter­net and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion to com­mu­ni­cate, and mis­use the var­i­ous fi­nan­cial medi­ums to trans­fer the money to their ac­counts.”

Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try, the prob­lem lies in the fact that very few cus­tomers re­port such fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity, and the In­dian state and law en­force­ment agen­cies can­not take ac­tion un­til a com­plaint is reg­is­tered with them. Be­sides, train­ing in cy­ber­crime is also limited.

With this part­ner­ship, Nasscom is also try­ing to bridge that gap. “The re­cently set up Consumer In­ter­est Pro­tec­tion Task Force will dis­cuss and rec­om­mend ac­tions that can en­able quicker cross-bor­der, in­ter-agency co­op­er­a­tion for fil­ing and res­o­lu­tion of consumer com­plaints,” said Mu­rugesh.

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