ATMs continue to be fraudsters’ haven

Sunil Pradhan
Friday, 22 March 2019

441-year-old Rekha Pakhre was a recent victim of debit card swap fraud. Rekha lost  Rs 7,500 after an unidentified person swapped her debit card at an SBI ATM Automated Teller Machine (ATM) on March 13 at Dange Chowk.

Pune: 441-year-old Rekha Pakhre was a recent victim of debit card swap fraud. Rekha lost  Rs 7,500 after an unidentified person swapped her debit card at an SBI ATM Automated Teller Machine (ATM) on March 13 at Dange Chowk. The fraudster, under pretext of helping Rekha, swapped her card and later withdrew money from Rekha’s account as he was aware of her password and also in physical possession of her debit card. 

The Kondhwa police also arrested two Nigerian nationals on March 10 for allegedly being involved in card cloning scam. The Nigerian nationals had installed two skimmer machines in two different ATMs in Kondhwa. 

Similarly, there were several incidents of ATM tampering reported recently in the city, including an incident where Rs 30 lakh was stolen from an ATM in Bhosari. 

With lack of security guards and CCTV cameras at ATM centres, it is the citizens who have to bear the consequences, as several incidents of ATM tampering, debit card cloning, debit card swapping and other frauds related to ATM kiosks are continuously reported by the city police. 

Recently, an official of Additional Commissioner of Police (Addl CP) rank had said that they are holding meetings with bank officials on a regular basis, but lack of guards and CCTV control centre is making it tough for police officials to keep a watch on these ATM kiosks. 

Speaking about measures to control such offences, a city-based police inspector said that safety measures like presence of guards and CCTV cameras in ATM kiosks are frequently discussed with bank officials, but some banks are yet to act on them, leading to such frauds and causing loses to both people and the banks. “Regular meetings with bank officials, continuous interaction on WhatsApp groups and patrolling near banks are few measures which can be taken by the police. Banks can have their CCTV command centre to regulate all their ATM kiosks which will make our life easier,” said the official.

Police officials further said that ATM tampering frauds were also reported in the city, in which the accused would switch off the ATM machines exactly when the machine would dispense the cash, resulting in a failed technical transaction, but the accused would withdraw the cash and leave the ATM premises. 

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