September 18, 2021
Alerts & Bugs

25+ ATM users duped of lakhs in 15 days, police stns yet to act – ET CISO


Nagpur: Police stations of MIDC, Hingna, Wadi and adjoining ones were caught napping as citizens lost lakhs of rupees through ATM skimming in the last fortnight.

The victims lost money as their accounts started getting debited due to repeated withdrawals from ATMs in Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. CCTV footage in the city captured an ATM fraudster using a four-wheeler.

At least four people are behind the ATM skimming, a fraud wherein criminals steal information from the cards inserted into the ATM machines with a microchip and a small camera to read their passwords.

Despite alerts from the cyber cell, police stations are yet to register FIRs in most cases. No concrete action has been initiated from them to unearth the gangs involved in attaching skimmers or such cloning devices in the ATM machines located in the MIDC, Hingna and Wadi stretch in the outskirts of the city.

It’s learnt that several ATM users started getting messages in their registered mobile phones about amounts being debited from their accounts. The bewildered citizens rushed to block their ATM cards; many approached police stations. The citizens were told to approach the cyber crime cell of the crime branch.

As the victims made a beeline at the cyber cell, their complaints were traced before being referred to police stations for registration of FIR.

Recounting his ordeal, retired public works department (PWD) engineer Vilas Admane — who lost Rs69,000 in the fraud — said he had withdrawn Rs9,000 on August 25 from a State Bank of India ATM at Saraswati Complex near Hingna Road T-point. “On August 30, someone thrice withdrew Rs10,000 from my wife’s account but my son, who had received messages from the bank on his cellphone, thought that it was me,” said Admane.

“The crooks withdrew more cash on different occasions from my account using the ATM information, before we could realize it and block the card,” added Admane, who did not receive any calls from either Ranapratap Nagar, MIDC or Hingna police station.

MIDC station senior inspector Umesh Besarkar said he had received information from the cyber cell but the station was planning to take details from the banks too, regarding the debit transactions through the ATMs, and file a composite FIR common to all. “There is no delay. We are working on the details,” said Besarkar.

(With inputs from Shashi Rahate)



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