Published On : Wed, Sep 15th, 2021

ATM frauds: Cops found napping as citizens robbed of lakhs in Nagpur

Gang of thugs behind ATM card skimming, other related frauds

Nagpur: A surge in ATM frauds is proving to be a headache for cops in Second Capital City. Police have been caught slumbering as gullible citizens were robbed of rupees in lakhs through ATM skimming in the past 15 days. Most of the frauds were reported from MIDC, Hingna, Wadi and other police station jurisdictions.

In one of the incidents, CCTV footage in Nagpur caught an ATM fraudster using a four-wheeler.

According to sources, a gang of four thugs has been found to be behind the ATM skimming, a fraud wherein the criminals steal vital information from the cards inserted into the ATM machines with a microchip and a small camera to note down their passwords. Logistics companies and their employees also play a vital role in ATM related frauds. In many instances, these employees are found to be depositing fewer notes than what is prescribed by the banks and cheating on the bankers.

The police stations in the city, despite alerts from Cyber Cell, reportedly have not registered FIRs in most of the cases. No action has been initiated by the city cops to bust the gangs involved in attaching skimmers or such cloning devices in the ATM machines located in MIDC, Hingna, and Wadi areas in the outskirts of Nagpur.

According to reports, several ATM users started getting messages in their registered mobile phones about amounts being debited from their accounts. Many of the appalled victims rushed to block their ATM cards, some approached police stations only to be told to move Cyber Cell of the Crime Branch.

One of the victims, who lost Rs 69,000 in the fraud, narrating his ordeal, said that he had withdrawn Rs 9000 on August 25 from a State Bank of India ATM situated near Hingna Road T-Point. On August 30, someone thrice withdrew Rs 10,000 from his wife’s account. But his son, who had received messages from the bank on his mobile phone, thought it was him, said the victim. The crooks withdrew more cash on different occasions from his account using the ATM information before he could realize and block the card, added the victim.

According to data, Maharashtra has witnessed the highest number of ATM fraud cases in the country followed by Delhi. Banks dealing with fraudulent cases amounting to a sum of Rs 1 lakh and more reported the matter to the RBI. According to police and cyber crime experts, the ATM thefts that were below the sum of 1 lakh were not taken into account while calculating the data. The fraudsters were able to steal the other people’s money with the help of ATMs and debit cards. For instance, the fraudsters copy data from other people’s cards by installing skimmer devices on ATMs and point-of-sale machines. They target gullible people at the ATMs, especially where the security is inadequate.

Sometimes, fraudsters pose as customer-care agents of banks and trick people to hack their confidential information.