Published On : Mon, Aug 7th, 2017

Video: Gang of fraudsters targeting ATMs & stealing lakhs, hi-tech way

: This dubious development would certainly force the citizens as well as bankers to spend sleepless nights. Their money is getting vanished from ATMs without a trace. A gang of hi-tech fraudsters has become active and targeting the ATMs in the Second Capital City of Nagpur. In the past two months or so, the tech-savvy gang has struck over 40 ATMs of different nationalised banks including State Bank of India in the city and Vidarbha and pilfered around Rs 60 lakh with much ease. The mind-boggling part of this robbery is that even though the money is being reduced from the accounts of the banks the accounts of customers are untouched. Their modus operandi has left the bankers as well as the cops baffled.

The hi-tech loot came to the fore when a complaint was lodged with Rana Pratap Nagar Police Station stating that Rs 7.25 lakh were withdrawn by some tricksters from State Bank of India’s ATM situated at Mangalmurti Square in Trimurti Nagar. Complainant Narendra Dhote, Regional Manager, Electronic Payment and Services Company Limited, a payment system company, told the police that Rs7.25 lakh were withdrawn from the ATM between July 9 and August 3,without leaving any trace of transaction, raising a serious question mark over security of ATMs from such techno-savvy fraudsters. Earlier also, between July 22 and 28, two ATMs in Pratap Nagar police jurisdiction were targeted and lakhs of rupees were withdrawn fraudulently. The same is story with some other ATMs in different areas of the city.

Cops have taken footages of some of the ATMs in their possession and scanning them minutely to expose the gang comprising 5-6 members.

Modus operandi:
The modus operandi of the gang of fraudsters is that they first swipe the debit card and switch off the power supply before the transaction slip comes out while the cash is dispensed by the ATM machine. The gang then used to open up top cover of the ATM to switch off the machine. This way, the bank software couldn’t register the transaction, considering it a system failure. The fraudsters seemed to have repeated the modus operandi at different ATMs to get richer by lakhs with ease but without a trace. The timing used by the gang to target an ATM is between 6 am and 8 am. There may be two or three gangs which are committing the fraud since many months. Despite duping the banks to the tune of lakhs, the fraud never got detected and the records didn’t show the money was withdrawn.

Talking to Nagpur Today, DCP Sambhaji Kadam (Crime) said that the cops are probing the matter thoroughly. Two special squads have been formed to bring the gang of fraudsters to the book at the earliest.