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Old 6th May 2011, 10:15   #1
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Default "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

Got to know of this fraud happened in "In-Orbit" and "City Center" Malls in Hyderabad. I am amazed at the catchy names that these fraudsters are using to attract innocent and gullible customers.

Here is what happened..
  1. Stalls were setup in these malls attracting customers to pay Rs 50 and get gift vouchers/mobile recharge worth Rs 250, immediately.
  2. Customers were promised to get Reebok vouchers to be mailed to their address.
  3. The caveat however is the customer has to use his/her "Debit Card" to make initial Rs 50 payment.
  4. As soon as the card is swiped and pin entered the details were captured, i believe in the card swipe machine.
  5. After a few days when salaries were credited to the account, these fraudsters had cleaned the account.
  6. I heard of customers who were happy getting Baskin Robins vouchers immediately, and these "satisfied customers" informed friends and family to avail this amazing "Make a deal" offer.
Wondering how one can be educated and at the same time be so stupid. I want this community to be aware of this happening in their cities. Please spread the message among your friends and family to be vigilant.
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Old 6th May 2011, 12:40   #2
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Default Re: "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

Suddenly, we are witnessing increase in crime rate in Hyderabad. Found this link on internet on same.

Make a Deal Complaints - 250 talk time for a Rs. 50 recharge
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Old 6th May 2011, 12:47   #3
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Default Re: "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

Citibank is sending the following SMS to its customers:

Beware of scam offering discounts on mobile recharge if paid by your credit and debit cards. Call CitiPhone if you have recently used your card for this.
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Old 6th May 2011, 13:26   #4
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Default Re: "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

Thanks for the update on these frauds. If this is happening in Hyderabad then Bangalore will soon also get affected for sure. I've made a note on facebook and updated in my profile. May be that would be another option to make people aware.
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Old 6th May 2011, 15:20   #5
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Default Re: "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

I have taken note of it as I frequent City Centre Mall in hyderabad to shop for groceries at Food Bazar.
Guys, just a advise as I follow the same.
I never use my Salary account's debit card for any POS transaction, and even have stopped wifery from doing this.
I always use credit card for the transaction because even if later you are cheated due to fraud transaction, you atleast have some time on hand to notice and report the issue and this way atleast cash in savings account is safe.
I read the complaints on the link given by "ottocycle" above, saw that many people have lost huge amount, hope they get it back somehow.
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Old 6th May 2011, 15:29   #6
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Default Re: "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

This is really alarming. One usually doesn't think too much of swiping one's card on a POS machine, especially in a mall or some reputable place.

I for one would have thought it's some promotion going on for increasing usage of debit cards.

I feel the mall management is more to blame for this than the individuals who got duped.

But sadly in our country, even reporting to the police will have little effect. I'm sure the police is very much in the loop about this scam and are getting their cut from it.



Edit: Just composed this email and sent it to my family members. Please feel free to circulate it.

There seems to be a new scam going on in big malls in various cities (seems to have started in Hyderabad).

These people from "Make a Deal" set up a stall in big reputed malls and ask you to pay Rs. 50 and get coupons or talktime or whatever for Rs. 250 on the spot. They also promise to send you some reebok vouchers or something by post.

The only catch is you have to pay by your debit card (not sure about credit card). Once you swipe your debit card, they capture the card details on their machine, and after some days, large transactions start showing up in your account.

Remember, all that is needed to make physical point of sale (POS) transactions from a debit card is the debit card itself. No passwords or PINS are required. And the money is gone as soon as the card is swiped. So if they clone your card and swipe it anywhere, that money will be gone from your account and it'll be a lengthy process to get it back from the bank (if at all). I'm sure they will be able to forge your signatures on the charge slip since you already signed the charge slip the first time you swiped the card.

So beware of handing over or swiping your card for any deal which sounds too good to be true.

It's better to use websites like for deals, since there is a lot of security built into online usage of cards, but not so much in the physical usage.

And avoid using debit cards for POS transactions, especially those linked with salary accounts.

Take care.

More info:

Last edited by vineetmanghani : 6th May 2011 at 15:44.
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Old 6th May 2011, 15:35   #7
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Default Re: "Make a Deal" Fraud in Hyderabad Malls

Mall Management is only concerned about increasing "foot falls" and make money on their real estate. They will let anyone who can pay, to set up a counter.

Worst part is, some of those who were cheated are not approaching the police to lodge a complaint. They are just informing their bank and keeping quiet.
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