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The great Indian Tatkal scam! Here’s why you never got the train ticket in time

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Ever wondered why it is such a tedious task to get railway tickets booked in Tatkal? Well, here’s the answer. The Railways has found the reason behind the perpetual complaints of passengers not being able to get confirmed tickets even after turning up at the ticket counters at 10 in the morning, a time when the Tatkal windows open across India.

An internal probe revealed that 4000 confirmed berths were hoarded by scamsters within a minute if the opening of Tatkal Window, The Indian Express reported.

These touts who sell tickets at a higher price to passengers in need, were exploiting a “facility” in the reservation software. The facility allows someone who has already purchased a ticket to tweak journey details and book another train within seconds at the last moment.

Touts would buy tickets relatively for unpopular trains a day earlier and then exchange them within a matter of seconds for tickets on demanded trains between 10 am and 10:01 am.

“This took seconds,” Ajay Shukla, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, told the English daily. “We have now disabled this facility for the first hour after the system opens,” he added.

Booking clerks and other insiders were also involved in this multi crore scam. The railway ministry is devising a plan to take action against specific people involved in the scam.

Four arrests have already been made. The accused, identified as Mehtab Khan, Mehboob Malik, Santaram Yadav alias Pappu and P Naga Kumar, have been booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy. They also have violated the Information Technology Act, 2000.

After disabling the facility the railway officials closely monitored the booking patterns around India and observed that instead of 4000 train changes only a few changes were made in the first minute. “We believe those are genuine transactions by passengers altering their journeys,” Shukla said.

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Hackers, Phone Carriers Charged for SIM-hacking Scam

The alleged hackers face several fraud and identity theft charges, while the phone company employees have been charged with wire fraud and each could face decades in prison if convicted

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In an alleged SIM-hacking scam in the US, a group of nine people have been charged for stealing cryptocurrencies from people and earning a total of $2.4 million by bribing or tricking mobile phone carriers into transferring a phone number into a new SIM card.

In an unsealed indictment, prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan claimed that six of the people, living across the US and Ireland, were members of a group called “The Community”, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Usually, such cyber-fraud cases involve taking control of a victim’s cryptocurrency wallet, giving a hacker access to the funds and “The Community” allegedly used this technique seven times to steal cryptocurrency.

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The hackers, whose identity is still unknown whether they are an independent group or nation-state actors, used public exploits, indicating that “many of the websites they hit weren’t up-to-date and had outdated plugins”. Pixabay

In a separate complaint, prosecutors have also charged three undisclosed mobile phone company operators with accepting bribes as part of the crime, the report said.

With access to the phone numbers, scammers were able to bypass security measures like two-factor authentication, that gave them control over the linked accounts of the victims.

Also Read- Beware! Hackers Are Watching Your Every Move As You Shop Online

The alleged hackers face several fraud and identity theft charges, while the phone company employees have been charged with wire fraud and each could face decades in prison if convicted, the report noted. (IANS)