Three former employees of Indian BPO firm MphasiS have been arrested for allegedly siphoning off $300,000 from Citibank customers after stealing account details while working at an offshore call centre in India.
According to local press reports, the three former MphasiS employees were arrested in Pune, India along with nine others.
The former staff, who left MphasiS in December last year, are accused of stealing money from four Citibank accounts after obtaining customers' usernames and passwords while working at the vendor's call centre in Pune. The stolen funds were transferred into new accounts that were set up under false names and e-mail accounts.
The theft came to light when the Citibank customers noticed the funds missing and notified the bank. According to reports, the US bank tracked the activity back to Pune.
The arrests have again raised fears regarding the security of customer data at offshore centres. John McCarthy, vice president at Forrester Research Asia Pacific, told reporters in Australia that the thefts could result in a 30% reduction in the amount of call centre work Western companies offshore to firms in India.
Last year BPO firm Wipro lost a telemarketing contract with US card issuer Capital One after an internal audit found that staff at its call centre deliberately misled customers during sales calls.
Last month the Bangalore offices of Wipro and Infosys Technologies were evacuated following bomb hoaxes. Wipro was later target of another hoax by one of its own staff.