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Railways alert banks of online fraud targeting pensioners

Ministry of Railways has alerted all public sector banks about the modus operandi of the fraudsters, who managed to access the pensioners’ service records.

In a new online fraud, cyber criminals have been targeting senior citizens by posing as pension-disbursing authorities calling to update Digital Life Certificate (Jeevan Praman Patr) online.

The Ministry of Railways has alerted all public sector banks about the modus operandi of the fraudsters, who managed to access the pensioners’ service records.

The issue was first flagged by the Cyber Crime Cell of the Lucknow Police, who issued an alert to all pensioners in Uttar Pradesh not to entertain any caller offering online update of Digital Life Certificate, which is a mandatory requirement for uninterrupted disbursement of pension.

According to the police alert shared by the Railway Board, the fraudsters managed to access details like the pensioners’ date of appointment, date of retirement, pension pay order, Aadhar number, communication address, email ID, among others.

“The fraudsters initiate a transfer and ask the pensioner to share the One Time password [OTP] received on his/her mobile phone or email, saying that it was required to update the Digital Life Certificate. Once the OTP is shared, the funds get transferred to an unknown account,” said a senior railway official said.

The Officer on Special Duty, Accounts, Railway Board, wrote to the chairmans and managing directors of all public sector banks, asking them to send out an alert message to all pensioners to be cautious of such fraudulent calls and stating that the pension-disbursing authorities would never make calls or seek OTP for online updation of Digital Life Certificates.

The pensioners’ details of the Indian Railways is maintained by the Human Resource Management System, an online platform with adequate protective measures. The information is shared with banks, which are the pension disbursing authorities. Investigation was on to find out how the data leaked to the cyber criminals, the official said.

“The Personnel Department of the Zonal Railways have also sent out alerts to pensioners asking them not to respond to any phone enquiries relating to Digital Life Certificates. We have also shared the national helpline number (155260) launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs to report cyber frauds for immediate action,” he said.

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