Indian call centers selling U.K.'s secrets

By agencies   |   Thursday, 23 June 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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LONDON: The call center industry in India could head from boom to bust, if allegations regarding call center employees leaking out confidential data and indulging in fraudulent business are anything to go by.

In the latest case, officials have said that call center employees in India are selling confidential details of British bank account holders and their passport and credit card numbers.

The allegations arose following a 'sting operation' by an undercover reporter of The Sun, who claimed to have obtained details of 1000 accounts, passports and credit cards from a middleman in New Delhi. The banks involved were NatWest and Barclays, the report added, although Barclay said that no personal customer data was held in India.

The report said that the middleman also boasted of being able to provide details of as many as 200,000 bank accounts in a month, which, he further said, came from more than one call center.

The issue has, as expected snowballed into a major controversy, with the British police saying that it would investigate into the allegations.

Experts also believe that with the busting of a racket in Pune in April, involving call center employees, who stole 200,000 pounds from the accounts of New York based customers, call centers in India are likely to face repercussions in the banking industry.

Officials have however said that although "offshoring" carried risks, there was no evidence to suggest that the danger was greater than in British call centers.

"Our advice is never respond to unsolicited calls regarding your account security details," The Telegraph quoted a City of London, policeman as saying.

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