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Another outsourcing scam hits India

Source: PTI
August 16, 2005 10:25 IST
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Indian BPOs are at the centre of a fresh controversy with an Australian television channel claiming that some of them were illegally selling personal information of tens of thousand Australian customers.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV claimed that its reporters were offered banking pin numbers, passport numbers, credit card details and other personal information on thousands of Australians for just Aus$10 each.

The information would enable fraudsters to assume false identities for online transactions, the ABC said in a preview of 'Four Corners' programme done by an undercover journalist who did a similar sting operation on a call centre in Gurgaon.

Outsourcing and India

The programme did not go ahead with the purchase but a sample of identifications included the personal details of Diane and Keith Poole, it said.

However, ABC neither named the company operating the call centre in India nor the journalist who uncovered the 'scam.' Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said he had asked the federal police to look into allegations by the ABC.

He said he was unaware of any evidence of customers' details being sold, but wanted the allegations followed up.

Kiran Karnik, president, National Association of Software and Service Companies told the programme that India was among the safest processing hubs in the world.

"I can assure every Australian customer and consumer whose data is being processed or handled in India that in a comparative sense at least this is among the safest places," he said. "This industry as a whole, despite some breaches, has been fairly good."

In June, a British tabloid had reported that an employee at a call centre in Gurgaon had illegally sold personal details of over 1,000 Britons.

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