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Indian Call Centre Worker Sells Customer Details

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the get-your-red-hot-moms-here dept.

Privacy 425

lxt writes "A British tabloid newspaper managed to buy the personal details of over 1000 bank customers from an off-shore call centre based in Delhi. An IT worker at the call centre handed over details at £4.25 per customer, as well as credit card numbers and account passwords. He claimed could sell over 200,000 account details every month. The British police force has passed on details to Interpol and the Indian authorities, in an attempt to prosecute the individual. The BBC is also covering the story."

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eh0d is my daddy (825041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888606)

I AM USING THIS FIRST POST to inform the slashdot readership of an attack on freedom of speech: has been silenced by a new act which went into effect yesterday. PLEASE SLASHDOT... PLEASE STOP THE INJUSTICE. Penismightier will be closing down the mainpage due to the new 2257 Regulations but we plan to return. These Regulations take effect June 23rd 2005. We are considered non-compliant as a "Secondary" producer. If you are interested in reading about the 2257 regulations here are some handy links.

first post for you ,

my brothers.

Well (5, Insightful)

kutsu119 (883719) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888620)

Well, it was to be expected, outsourcing the jobs to a low paid area - workers that are paid fairly are less likely to cheat their employees.

Get rid of the call centers, keep them in the country that they expect to be dealing with (UK call centers for UK clients etc)

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888657)

Like this could never happen in the US or the UK. Nobody wants this sort of thing to happen, least of all the Indian government. They like the influx of foreign money, and they'll work hard to keep the foreign companies happy and safe to keep that money flowing in. Or at least the appearance of being happy and safe.

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

aml666 (708712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888748)

It's true that this can and has happened in the US (aol...). The difference is that when you do a crime in the US, the FBI and local agencies have jurisdiction.

When crime happens to US citizens in a foreign country, we report it and hope for the best. If it happens here (US) the various agencies can force the company to change practices and enforce corporate security.

Re:Well (3, Insightful)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888760)

Like this could never happen in the US or the UK

My thoughts exactly. And I'd suggest that the number of UK call-centre employees being paid "fairly" is debateable - high if you believe the employers, low if you believe everyone else. This kind of crap strikes me as racism: unscrupulous employees exist in every country of the world; bad wages exists in every country; opportunities to commit fraud exist everywhere. I really hope this "outsourcing means Johnny Furrinner is stealing my job" crap is going to end soon, so we can focus on (all) our working conditions.

(Aside: I'm an "economic migrant" working in the UK. Originally from NZ, I've lived in the UK since 1979 and in Glasgow since 1990. I've encountered far less racism/hostility than many Glaswegians, simply because I'm white and my accent sounds Scottish - and not the Asian-Scottish that makes many Scots a target for racist tossers).

Re:Well (3, Insightful)

Alcilbiades (859596) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888836)

What I think people are saying is that there seems to be a higher amount of information sales now that companies have outsourced. And without jurisdiction we don't like it. Not that Indians are more criminally active just that they know and we know the reason they have a job....they will be getting paid the lowest salary of anyone in the world for doing their job and they know it won't improve cause the company will just pack up and leave.

Re:Well (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888890)

What I think people are saying is that there seems to be a higher amount of information sales now that companies have outsourced.

Aye, I accept that, and I accept that we want/deserve some oversight to prevent problems like this occuring. (I've been annoyed by the DVLA - Britain's driver and vehicle registry - being outsourced before; couldn't reschedule my driving test due to language issues ;-) I just resent the typical Slashdot rage against the tragedy of it all, when any other aspect of capitalism - and this is only a symptom of capitalism - goes largely unchallenged. We only seem to care when it affects us :-(

To be fair, it's a western problem too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888725)

Call center employees in the US and Europe don't pull what you'd call high salaries either. It's more of a jurisdictional issue. How easy and efficient is it to regulate and prosecute in these kind of situations. Also is organized crime able to exploit these issues? The answer is yes on this one. That's why money laundering involves moving money accross international borders. Once you do that, it becomes much harder to trace it.

Re:To be fair, it's a western problem too (1)

QuestorTapes (663783) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888911)

> It's more of a jurisdictional issue.

Exactly. It's a jurisdictional issue as soon as the call center is even out-of-state.

But moving call centers offshore adds -enormous- complexity. I would tend to suspect (I have limited knowledge of foreign legal systems) that things become even more complex the farther the nation in question gets from the traditions of British common law. India, for example, might be significantly less complicated that China.

Re:Well (1)

Sexy Bern (596779) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888766)

UK call centers for UK clients etc

Hey, what about UK spelling for UK stories?

In Blighty, it's "centre" ;)

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888789)

workers that are paid fairly are less likely to cheat their employees [sic].

Yeah Right.

So that is why Barings Bank, Enron, Worldcom/MCI and other pillars of trustworthiness only exist in high paid sectors?

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888805)

While all will moan and whine about outsourcing and corruption, lets not forget that right here in US we have more issues about theft and security flaws. I have worked with Indians and they respect their principles. A percentage of population is always cheap and readyly purchasable.

This is true for any country.

Gimme a break (2, Informative)

Yankel (770174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888819)

This is only making news because it's an offshore company for a Western financial institution. Maybe because companies are now supposed to tell their clients when their personal information has been compromised (which has *never* happened in house, right?).

Is it that the low-paid workers are more likely to steal, or, that these offshore companies just have less security, and a less-thorough recruitment process? Problem that domestic businesses deal with as well.

Enron and Parmalat have shown us that no matter where you are on the corporate ladder, there are rotten branches on the tree.

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

AnObfuscator (812343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888863)

Not really. Halliburton, Enron, Aldelphia, AOL Time Warner, Arthur Andersen... All these scandals were pulled off not by disgruntled underpaid employees, but by high-paid execs.

It's like the old quote, "how much money is enough? A little bit more." Basically, you can't *pay* someone to be honest. If someone is greedy, more money won't satisfy him.

also, I'd like to point out that the workers in idea *are* being paid fairly. A fair wage is based on cost-of-living for where you live. Thus, they make *great* salaries compared to most of their countrymen. Their standard of living is *high* for their region. Most of them are quite grateful for their comparatively high-paid jobs.

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

padamj (882523) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888867)

The reason is not "low paid area - workers", but lack of understanding the dynamics of outsourcing, both on the part of the Call Center and the company outsourcing the task.

In a bid to reduce cost, the UK company outsources, yet does not setup procedures to make sure the customer data is safe. IMHO, it could have happened anywhere in the world, even in the UK.

Good business line, that... (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888622)

200,000 accounts at $7.75 US would be 1.5 million per month. Nice side business.

Wow and I am surprised (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888629)

Everyone gotta need to make money. So much for the enough indian touting.

Go ahead mod me flamebit or offtopic.

Bring back (5, Funny)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888630)

... the barter system. This newfangled electronic stuff just isn't working out.

So thats why... (2, Interesting)

ZeroSignalUK (863460) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888631)

So thats why outsourcing call centers to India is so cheap...

Re:So thats why... (1)

cakesy (886563) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888742)

Yes, that is why there is never any criminal activities, or selling of details in more developed countries, like the US or the UK. Don't kid yourself... This is just one person, who happens to live in India.

Re:So thats why... (1)

ZeroSignalUK (863460) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888793)

yeah, I know. It's called a joke :)

Re:So thats why... (1)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888849)

It is deeper than that. Odds are that guy has the job that someone in the US or UK used to have and probably did for years without doing such a thing. Nobody is saying it doesn't happen in other countries. He didn't just do a couple of card numbers. He caused no telling how many millions in damages to the card companies in the other countries when they have to make good for this and reprint cards. That cost is handed down to the consumer in the long run whether it be in insurance cost or recoop cost of the card company. This "one person" just happens to be the only one that got caught and mentioned in this article. Overseas scams on identity and $$ theft are so common that you can see it in your spam almost daily.

The difference is, he did it overseas holding someone elses prior job and is out of jurisdiction. That is pure lowlife and I defend my right to say he is a scumbag.

NO. (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888914)

That's not the reason why outsourcing call centers to India is so cheap. The real reason is your horrible (ie nonexistant) sense of humour that all the people calling you for support simply could not take. All the people in India, however, have a great sense of humour, making it a pleasure to go through the tedious troubleshooting process with them. There are so many qualified call center employees living there that the competition keeps the prices way down.

Outsourcing sucks. (1, Insightful)

RickySan (887756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888632)

Gotta love that outsourcing eh..

Re:Outsourcing sucks. (4, Insightful)

RWerp (798951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888891)

No outsourcing = no crime. Is that what you're saying?

Lowest bidder indeed (4, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888636)

Looks like someone in India is trying to improve their "standards of living". Now either people in India/China/etc get paid more or there is just going to be more people stealing.

In other words, "the jig is up".

I'm not saying "people from India are criminals". I'm saying someone [anywhere] who is paid like shit to do a job is likely going to try and supplement their income. This could [and has] just as easily happen in Canada or the states.

Tip of the iceberg...


Re:Lowest bidder indeed (1)

EiZei (848645) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888710)

Indeed, what is the motivation to do a honest job if it's not properly paid. Walmart employees and such aren't very loyal employees as well. Can't really blame them.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888717)

I'm not saying "people from India are criminals". I'm saying someone [anywhere] who is paid like shit to do a job is likely going to try and supplement their income.

Adelphia Cable? Enough said.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (4, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888733)

Well, this is where big companies come in.

At the peak of the outsourcing boom, people were outsourcing to just about any random company without running through their credibility or history.

As a result, they ended up having contracts with people who didn't care all that much about their data, or what it meant. This is another example of why that's so screwed up.

Now, things will even out. All the smaller outsourcing firms will lose out and only the big players will remain - they may charge more, but they also pay more and will usually have procedures in place that will prevent this sort of thing.

This is a good thing, because things will even out, some may choose to go to another firm, or some may come back here to the US. Either way, the market will eventually stabilize.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (1, Troll)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888740)

Nah, it mostly happens in places like India and China, since the grunts on the ground feel far enough removed from potential backlash that they can sneer and act with impunity.

Over in the first world, we know exactly what response our employers will have to such fraud and corruption, and it involves fines and imprisonment.

Its just a question of accountability, actual and perceived.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (4, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888850)

That's the dumbest thing I've ever read. Fraud is illegal in India [many codes]. In particular [IANAIL but...] section 423 of the Indian Penal code seems to deal with this. It's two years in prison. ;-)

Use a google search engine next time.


Re:Lowest bidder indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888741)

Pathetic fallacy.

Crooks steal even if they are rich. eg Robert Maxwell. These call centre people stole because, being further away from their target, they thought they could get away with it, that they would be less tracable. They also have no loyalty to the customer.

Sorry, its a problem inherent in outsourcing.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888777)

pathetic fallacy [] n.
The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or to nature; for example, angry clouds; a cruel wind.

So, are you saying that call centre people are inanimate objects?

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (2, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888783)

From what I have read and seen on the TV although Indian Call Centre workers are low paid in relation to their equivalent in the West in relation to the standard of living they can enjoy from their wages they are at least the equal if not better off than their Western counterparts.

This being the case the only reason we are not reading about a worker in a Call Centre in Edinburgh selling private information is because The Sun has not been up to Edinburgh with a suitcase of cash and offered it to anyone.

I've worked in a few Call Centres in the UK and I'm sure there are a good number of people who would be happy to sell you whatever you wanted for the right price. You just might have to pay them a little more than you would pay the Indian.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888876)

Yeah their wage WAS good. I've been saying this forever but the standard of living is going up.

They have more money than the average joe. So they buy an xbox, big screen tv, air conditioner, etc..

Everyone [exagerating but it is leading this way] has an xbox, tv, air conditioner.

Now people want more games, bigger tvs, more etc... in the US and Canada ;-)

So yeah, 10 years ago they were getting paid more than the average labourer or something. but now that there are so many of them the pay doesn't scale.


Re:Lowest bidder indeed (5, Interesting)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888904)

I knew two guys in college who got by on credit card scams. Those were the days when the nameless university (NYU, cough) thought it cool to put part of your social security number in your student ID number. The smart guys could derive the rest, and everyone is but a drunken night away from divulging their whole life story, so, guy #1 was caught and convicted to 11 years for credit card fraud.

The second guy had a girlfriend who worked at a neurologist's office. Most of the patients are old with degenerative conditions. When a patient would die, the girlfriend would pass on the info, and he'd get some cards, max em out, and throw them away. He's actually a pretty successful guy now. don't think he's with the girl anymore though.

All of which is to say - the problem is ubiquitious. Corruption is inherent with the humans dealing with the data, but I can't help but think that there must be a better way of dealing with financial data to prevent theft.

I'm torn, because with increased attempts at security come fewer freedoms. Pretty soon you'll have to give up the Gattaca drop of blood in order to buy movie tickets. I'm not sure if that makes the world a better place.

Re:Lowest bidder indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888879)

The issue that worries me isn't that it could happen in the US and Canada. Obviously it can. My worry is that it would seem much more difficult to investigate and prosecute those who do this outside of my home country.

I would feel much safer dealing with a company that doesn't require me to deal with customer service outside my country and doesn't allow my information to leave the country.

Damn. (2, Interesting)

psyon1 (572136) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888639)

I hope companies look at situations like this, and use it in their decision making process to decide whether or not to outsource to other companies. Its one thing if they send them source code to a project and the people sell it, but when they are giving our personal information to another company, they should be damned sure it wont be sold.

Re:Damn. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888678)

It has nothing to do with outsourcing [directly]. It has to do with lower pay standards.

I'm sure if this guy got paid fairly [and competitively] he wouldn't be stealing [or less likely to be].

Hey, if the Canadian politicians can vote themselves raises to [quote] "prevent corruption" why is it so hard to reason that the average joe employee should get paid fairly to be kept honest?

Granted outsourcing exists BECAUSE they're lower paid staff it isn't the cause of it though. I mean I use a Dell computer here at work. Essentially that's "outsourcing" since my business doesn't care to make their own computers.

Just because Dell MAKES computers doesn't mean they should run the call centre themselves [for instance]. Their business is mass producing computers and shipping them out...


Re:Damn. (1)

psyon1 (572136) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888761)

Notice I never mentioned specifically to India. Many of my friends have worked at local call centers in the area. Everyone of them told me about the checks that are done when a person enters and leaves work. The company they worked for did everything they could to ensure no confidential information was leaving the call center. The same should be done with any company that is being outsourced to.

Re:Damn. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888738)

That will only happen when there are consequences for companies that don't consider security.

It really is going to be the wild wild west for a while.

From the BBC article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888647)

"The problem is not unique to any single nation - it is one that affects us all - and each of us has a responsibility to take on the criminals,"

Re:From the BBC article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888800)

True, but the real question is, how diligent is the country in ensuring this doesn't happen? How compatible is the law structure to ours? Do they have privacy protection similar to ours?

I don't know about India, but I can imagine in some countries you could get away with this by greasing a few palms.

More outsourcing woes (1)

UltimateWager (893855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888651)

So first we lose jobs. Then we can't understand our phone reps. Now our identities are being sold for less than $10 a pop.

It'll be interesting to see if this gets as heavy press as the compromised Mastercard accounts.

Happens here too. (2, Interesting)

Trix606 (324224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888654)

While I do not like the trend toward outsourcing, something like this will do little to discourage it due to the fact that the same type of data is so carelessly taken care of in the U.S. as well.

even worse (1)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888665)

I can't find the link now but I recall a year or two ago reading about a medical transcriptionist in the Indian subcontinent who threatened to publish the confidential letters about the patients of an American hospital online in a dispute over the price agreed upon.

Re:even worse (1, Informative)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888729)

Here... I found it

"SF Gate A tough lesson on medical privacy Pakistani transcriber threatens UCSF over back pay - David Lazarus Wednesday, October 22, 2003 "Your patient records are out in the open... so you better track that person and make him pay my dues." A woman in Pakistan doing cut-rate clerical work for UCSF Medical Center threatened to post patients' confidential files on the Internet unless she was paid more money.To show she was serious, the woman sent UCSF an e-mail earlier this month with actual patients' records attached. The violation of medical privacy - apparently the first of its kind - highlights the danger of "offshoring" work that involves sensitive materials, an increasing trend among budget-conscious U.S. companies and institutions. U.S. laws maintain strict standards to protect patients' medical data. But those laws are virtually unenforceable overseas, where much of the labor- intensive transcribing of dictated medical notes to written form is being exported. "This was an egregious breach," said Tomi Ryba, chief operating officer of UCSF Medical Center. "We took this very, very seriously." She stressed that the renowned San Francisco facility is not alone in facing the risk of patients' confidential information being used as leverage by unscrupulous members of the increasingly global health-care industry. "This is an issue that affects the entire industry and the entire nation," Ryba said. Nearly all Bay Area hospitals contract with outside firms to handle at least a portion of their voluminous medical-transcription workload. Those firms in turn frequently subcontract with other companies. In the case of the threat to release UCSF patient records online, a chain of three different subcontractors was used. UCSF and its original contractor, Sausalito's Transcription Stat, say they had no knowledge that the work eventually would find its way abroad. The Pakistani woman's threat was withdrawn only after she received hundreds of dollars from another person indirectly caught up in the extortion attempt. The $20 billion medical-transcription business handles dictation from doctors relating to all aspects of the health-care process, from routine exams to surgical procedures. Patients' full medical histories often are included in transcribed reports. While it's impossible to know for sure how much of the work is heading overseas, the American Association for Medical Transcription, an industry group, estimates that about 10 percent of all U.S. medical transcription is being done abroad. For two decades, UCSF has outsourced a portion of its transcription work to Transcription Stat. Kim Kaneko, the owner of the Sausalito firm, said she maintains a network of 15 subcontractors throughout the country to handle the "hundreds of files a day" received by her office. One of those subcontractors is a Florida woman named Sonya Newburn, whom Kaneko said she'd been using steadily for about a year and a half. Kaneko knew that Newburn herself used subcontractors but assumed that was as far as it went. What Kaneko said she didn't know is that one of Newburn's transcribers, a Texas man named Tom Spires, had his own network of subcontractors. One of these, apparently, was a Pakistani woman named Lubna Baloch. On Oct. 7, UCSF officials received an e-mail from Baloch, who described herself as "a medical doctor by profession." She said Spires owed her money and had cut off all communication. Baloch demanded that UCSF find Spires and remedy the situation. She wrote: "Your patient records are out in the open to be exposed, so you better track that person and make him pay my dues or otherwise I will expose all the voice files and patient records of UCSF Parnassus and Mt. Zion campuses on the Internet." Actual files containing dictation from UCSF doctors were attached to the e- mail. The files reportedly involved two patients. "I can't believe this happened," Kaneko said. "We've been working for UC for 20 years, and nothing like this has ever happened before." The files in question were quickly traced to Newburn, the Florida woman, who typically handled about 30 UCSF files every day. An emotional Newburn said in an interview that she's as much a victim as Kaneko. "I feel violated," she said. Nevertheless, she said she's taking responsibility for what happened, even though she said she explicitly told Spires not to send any work overseas. "What he did was despicable," Newburn said. Spires could not be reached for comment. E-mail to his company, Tutranscribe, was returned as undeliverable this week. Newburn said she contacted Spires as soon as she learned about Baloch's threat and obtained a number to reach the Pakistani transcriber at her home in Karachi. "I spoke with her," Newburn said. "She was very upset but said she wouldn't have really released the files. So I said she had to take back the threat." Newburn agreed to pay a portion of the money Baloch claimed she was owed - about $500 - and Baloch said she would tell UCSF that its files were safe. On Oct. 8, UCSF received a second e-mail from Baloch. "I verify that I do not have any intent to distribute/release any patient health information out and I have destroyed the said information," she wrote. "I am retracting any statements made by me earlier." The problem, however, will not go away so easily. "We do not have any evidence that the person has destroyed the files," acknowledged UCSF's Ryba. Moreover, how can UCSF or any other medical institution prevent something like this from happening again? Should legislation be passed barring U.S. medical data from going overseas? "I don't know the answer to that," responded Amy Buckmaster, president of the American Association for Medical Transcription. "We don't say that outsourcing is a terrible thing. We say that it needs to be disclosed." UCSF has reached the same conclusion. Ryba said the medical center is revising its contracts with transcription firms to require up-front notice of all subcontracting. At the same time, she accepts that with a growing percentage of transcription work being exported abroad, there will always be a chance that something like this could happen again. "We'll have to live with this risk on a daily basis," Ryba said. "


0xdeaddead (797696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888907)

Sadly this is all comming full circle.. The big bad part of the outsourcing craze is the inability to enforce US law abroad....

Send me your info (5, Funny)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888671)

I realize some of you might not trust a London tabloid to get the facts right. So as to perform a public service, I will investigate and get back to anyone who wants more information. To do this, I'll need contact information from each of you, including your:

  • Full name
  • Home address
  • Phone
  • Mother's maiden name
  • PIN number
  • Favorite password
Please send this information to me accompanied by a money order in the amount of $4.95 to cover my processing fees. I will get the confirmation about the tabloid article back to you ASAP.

Re:Send me your info (5, Funny)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888715)

Thank you for this interesting offer. It sounds like a very good service.
Unfortunately, you forgot to include your address, so I don't know where I can send my data and the money.

My address (5, Funny)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888775)

"Unfortunately, you forgot to include your address, so I don't know where I can send my data and the money."

My most esteemed colleague,

Please excuse my unforgiveable oversight in neglecting to put a return address. In my excitement to be making such excellent contacts in your country, I was clearly negligent. Please remit all sums to:

Post Office Stop A
Lagos State

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to find such a kind and professional person such as yourself, and I look forward to a mutually beneficial financial arrangement. Please send the money right away!

Re:Send me your info (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888765)

Funny stuff...If I had mod points, I'd mod you up.

Re:Send me your info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888811)

-Rob Malta
-173 Happy Meadow Ln, Las Vegas, NV
-Malta (Dont know who my daddy is)


Re:Send me your info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888846)

- Rob Malta

That's Mal*d*a.

Re:Send me your info (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888905)

I didn't know you could put stars in your name. I'm gonna put little stars all over my kid's birth certificate!

The problem with concentration (5, Insightful)

jockm (233372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888675)

Decades ago it was the waiter or waitress at the restaurant we used to worry about. When mail order began to grow, it was the person at the other end of the line of a mail-order company. Outsourcing (in country or out of country) is just a form of concentration of this phenomena.

Sending potentially valuable information to people in a high stress, low paying job (in country or out of country, my wife worked in a call center in college) with poor controls is a risk. We have known this since the beginning, but we just seem to relearn the lesson each time.

Re:The problem with concentration (1)

LaserSamuraiHead (893849) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888804)

maybe i'm just a little young (23) but why would you worry about the waiter or waitress at a restaurant?

Re:The problem with concentration (1)

bezza (590194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888902)

I'm only 24 :) but a big problem a while ago would be a waiter or a waitress in a restaurant who would take your credit card to make a payment and swipe the card through a swiper installed of the inside of their jacket. This combined with the signature that you would supply a couple of minutes later was enough to recreate your card and your signature pretty easily. This was part of the reason for the 3 extra digits on the back side of your credit card introduced recently.

Re:The problem with concentration (1)

RupW (515653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888913)

maybe i'm just a little young (23) but why would you worry about the waiter or waitress at a restaurant?

Same thing basically: they get time alone with your credit card. And they can make casual conversation to get other details out of you, e.g. town, even street, where you live.

Re:The problem with concentration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888916)

Because once they realize you're a consistently bad tipper, they stop giving decent service and sometimes spit in your food.

What the headline should say. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888685)

Once Again, Another Indian Call Centre Worker Found Selling Customer Details.

We were asked (1)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888687)

Well of course according to the uk data protection act all our electronic information was allowed out of the country with express written permission of ourselves and therefore we have only ourselves to blame.

What you mean it wasn't ?
But isn't that illegal ?

Hah! I was just going to submit this. (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888695)

The BBC also has another related story here [] ,

Indian press (5, Informative)

anandpur (303114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888696)

Re:Indian press (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888714)

hell yeah, everyones like how did he do this? So they can jump in on the band wagon too.

Good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888704)

This, my friends, is one of the logical conclusions of a truly free market. I applaud the Indian for doing what Americans can't seem to accomplish. Free markets lead to free people.

Why hello there Mr. McCarthy! (0)

xplenumx (703804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888707)

Right. Because we all know that no American would ever pull a similar stunt. Damn Indians.

Re:Why hello there Mr. McCarthy! (2, Informative)

kgruscho (801766) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888767)

I used to work at a homeless shelter (in the US), a lot of the guys would get jobs at call-centers. Almost all of them tried to pull something like that. That said, nobody I ever met would have pulled over 100...

For everything else... (3, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888709)

For working in a call centre for one hour being moaned at by angry customers - 100 rupees.

For having to having to chase payment defaulting customers - 150 rupees.

For handing over personal bank information - priceless.

For everything else, there's "EmbezzleCard".

Crime and Punishment (4, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888712)

Well, the good news is that you're allowed to chop off the offenders hands when caught.

Saudi Arabia (1)

hopethisnickisnottak (882127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888815)

That's the country you are looking at. Chopping hands off is not legal in India. It is a form of legal punishment in Saudi Arabia.

Re:Crime and Punishment (1)

keshto (553762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888825)

Well, the good news is that you're allowed to chop off the offenders hands when caught.
OK troll, I'll bite. Indian Penal Code is essentially based on the British Penal Code. I don't know which penal code allows for chopping-off hands of criminals (maybe your country's?) but certainly not India's. It is actually one of the more enlightened penal codes. India does have the death penalty but it is rarely used (see this BBC story []
Not that the idiots who did this should get any leeway. They should be made an example of.

Re:Crime and Punishment (1)

thenetbox (809459) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888841)

I realize that your post was meant as a joke but I'll go ahead and clarify any way that the hand cutting only happens in Saudi Arabia (and Iran probably) and not in India.

The Sun (4, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888720)

So the Sun offers an unspecified number of Indian Call Centre workers vast amounts of money to provide them with some confidential information and eventually one of them does.

The point of this story is what exactly, that everyone has their price ?

Re:The Sun (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888898)

The point of this story is what exactly, that everyone has their price ?

If you outsource to a country which pays significantly lower wages to reduce your own costs, then that "price" also becomes significantly lower.

Segregation of duties (1)

aftermath09 (521504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888722)

aside from the obvious, "everyone needs to make a living argument", people will find dubious means to enhance their income. the question is: why was this person able to access those details? could the details have been segregated and or secured/encrypted?
simple password protection is done on the database by hashing the person's password (one way encrypting). when the person tries to login, the entered password is encrypted as well and both encrypted strings are matched. Couldn't this type of thing be done for other details?
maybe segregating those that write the code (including version control access) and those that have access to production data, like customer facing staff, would be a good start.

Not again... (4, Funny)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888739)

You: "Dammit, my identity got stolen, I'll have to call my bank."


CS: "Hello sir, my name is Rodney, how may I help you?"

You: "What's with the delay?"

CS: "Hello sir, my name is Rodney, may I help you today?"

You: "Um...OK, my identity got stolen. Can you help me?"

CS: "OK, sir, first reboot your PC."

You: "Wait a sec, this isn't a tech call."

CS: "Tell me your personal information, so I can find out your account."

You: "OK..."

Risk/reward of outsourcing (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888743)

By outsourcing the public risks getting screwed while the bosses of both companies are rewarded with big bonuses.

Need a change of focus (1)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888751)

There's been a lot of focus on internet security and encryption of sensitive data. But as we see - it's not during the transaction that it's dangerous. It's at the end point. Do you thrust whom you're giving your details?

Re:Need a change of focus (1)

dankasfuk (885483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888843)

It seems the other weak area is where this information is being stored after the transaction has taken place. This is becoming more of an issue as exemplified by the recent MC data loss, Bank of America customer data loss, and Citibanks comprimised accounts - all within the last 2 months or so.

Re:Need a change of focus (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888875)

Indeed. If the PIN and passwords were really aquired then there is something flawed in the system. Those types of things should be irreversible and stored as hashes.

Re:Need a change of focus (1)

splineboy (894451) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888894)

As someone once said to me - "most secure transactions are roughly equivalent to transferring a gold brick from fort knox in an armoured car, and delivering it to a man wearing flip-flops in a public park."

Not the only place this happens (1)

eldawg (769959) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888756)

Have there been any other instances of employee theft around the world? I know that the FBI investigations around the recent CardSystems leak of 40 million credit card accounts are looking at it possibly being an inside job. At $10 a pop, that could have been a pretty nice haul for someone out in Tuscon.

Re:Not the only place this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888864)

Yes, it may have been an insider job and they also had poor security practices [] to boot.

Show your evidence! (1, Insightful)

Y2 (733949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888762)

Rather than modding you all Troll or Flamebait, I challenge all of you kneejerks who say higher pay => more honesty (or lower pay => less honesty) to show some evidence for that claim.

Re:Show your evidence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888896)

simple logic:

high paid: why should he risc doing anything stupid for some petty cash?

low paid: goes to work every day muttering "fuck, I have to find a way out of this shit"

Not Just in India (4, Interesting)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888779)

I know many will make the claim, "It's because it's in India with low paid workers." Let's remember the news in the US this year. How many breaches of security (CitiGroup, FDIC, Lexus Nexus, more [] have resulted in lost or stolen personal information in the United States of America? How many of these breaches were by high paid workers? It is not a matter of where or who lost or stole information. The core issue is the ignorance of the value of information. Personal information is the new commidity and big corporations have not had the epiphany or received the memo saying so. When they and consumers realize there is real money at stake, all will stand up and take notice.

Ah... The benefits of outsourcing (0, Troll)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888780)

Title says it all... Outsourcing sucks, and it doesn't surprise me that these same people, who can't speak English, and who don't really care about good customer service, are also thieves.

Why we outsource our personal information to countries where the anti-American sentiment is extremely high is beyond me.

I'd really love to see a comparison on how often illegal activities such as this happen, and how much money is lost due to poor customer assistance, vs. the savings offered by outsourcing.

Re:Ah... The benefits of outsourcing (1)

pratyk (893836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888884)

hello there fella... betcha that ya quite rong with ya thingy out here..mind ya tongue and waggle your brain instead!!

Re:Ah... The benefits of outsourcing (1)

LaserSamuraiHead (893849) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888886)

where in the article does it say that it was americans information that was sold? it'd be safer to say that it was british info that was sold since the register is based in the UK although it could've been information from many nations. also just because a person doesn't speak english and doesn't care about customer service doesn't mean they're a thief

haha (1)

1967mustangman (883255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888786)

Thank you come again!!!

Interesting story, interpol dictates local laws ? (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888790)

While it's nice that Interpol has alerted the proper Indian authorities, what if there are no laws governing this apparent injustice? The way the story reads, it sounds like the Indians should start conforming to our rules if they don't already. Maybe Interpol is dictating how the indians will treat hash/pot smokers soon enough.

Prisons (2, Funny)

jaygatsby27 (894445) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888796)

Thank goodness they don't have call centers like this in prisons. I thank god every day that there is no way my personal information could make its way to foreign terrorists who could use it to raise funds for their operations. The US and British governments would never allow that to happen. No matter how important commerce is to the US, they would never put it before the safety, health and well-being of its citizens. (this email written in 1980, left in Draft folder for 25 years and only now mailed).

Outsourcers guilty of offense: Data Protection Act (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888802)

They are required by law to put provisions in place to make sure that customer data isn't revealed.

The act *is* flawed in that it allows data to be sent to countries without similar data protection if they have a contract in place, it shouldn't allow that in the first place. But the contract in place with the oursourcing organisation should make sure that they have sufficient safeguards in place to stop this, the fact that it's happening says that the outsourcing companies are in breach of contract and the banks haven't put sufficient safeguards in place, an offence against the data protection act, 1998.

We need some prosecutions against CIOs, CEOs and the like. A couple of years in prison would improve their attitude to data protection.

Scum (2, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888803)

Hopefully they will clamp down hard on this. The data protection act is one of the best laws there are and I want it fully enforced, and I want call centre jobs back here - i don't care if theres a shortage of workers, i would rather wait 10 minutes on hold.

Indian culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888817) westerners will see true indian business practices... /not a racist bastard //is indian

I'd like to region-code my personal data (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888869)

If Hollywood can do it, why can't I? I'd like my credit card numbers, SSN, etc to be unreadable outside the country (OK, I'll leave one credit card universally accessible for travel to foreign countries). In fact, I'd like to take it a step farther. I'd love some DRM on my data so that my bank can't pass it to who knows who 3rd-party companies for marketing opportunities.

I know, I know, I don't own my own data (the bank compiled it and thus the bank claims ownership of it). But a consumer can dream, can't he?

Seriously, until financial data gets some kind of DRM/coding/tracking codes/etc., it will be impossible to track who leaked or sold information and thus recover damages from irresponsible holders of consumer's data. Until the irresponsible can be found and punished (civil suits or criminal charges), no one will have much incentive to protect consumer data.

You know what this means (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888870)

"You know the government will be keen to get companies to use ID cards as the sole/principal form of identification for entering contracts with the public.

You know that access to ID card information would inevitably lead to disclosure of NIR information.

You know that the government wants to involve offshoring to deal with NHS queries.

You know that either your ID would be successfully hijacked or that an intercepted 'ID theft' attempt would lead to a suspension of your ID information and thus access to any services the government limits access to (Healthcare, DSS payments, freedom of movement, etc.)

You know it is cheap enough for anyone with the motivation to get this sort of information."
Indeed; it means that we need to abandon the insane rush to issue everyone with ID cards equipped with unique numbers. We should also be putting a monetary penalty for the theft of data, so that there is a strong incentive to guard data properly.

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888888)

I worked at a call center for a while. I certainly had a few offers from people wanting me to send them people's details. One man even described to me the types of vehicles I could afford to purchase if I did it.

But this was in Canada, people here aren't as desperate as they might be in other nations on the receiving end of the US's outsourcing.

British tabloid newspaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12888892)

From the summary:
British tabloid newspaper

I think your being a little generous there. It was The Sun.
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