BENGALURU: Thousands of people withdraw money at ATM kiosks every day. But who is watching us when we withdraw money? Are these transaction safe? Beware of skimmers at ATM kiosks. Fraudsters install the skimming device in the ATM machines to steal your card data and install them in a fake debit card and withdraw money from your account. Two such cases have been reported in the central business district (CBD), where the victims are a policeman and a private firm employee.
In the first incident, a police constable with Cubbon Park police station identified as Chandrashekar Talwar, 44, lost Rs 37,000 to the cyber criminals. According to Talwar, on June 6, he took his daughter to a private hospital. He said he received multiple messages on his mobile number linked to his bank account between 12.33pm and 12.44pm. When he checked the messages, he learnt that Rs 37,000 had been withdrawn from his account. He was unaware of skimming. He went to the bank and complained and later blocked his account. He informed his seniors at the police station about the fraud.
“Talwar was worried about his daughter’s health. So perhaps it didn’t occur to him to file a police complaint and block the account online,” an investigating officer said. In another incident, M Venkataramana, 54, a private firm employee on Walton Road in Shantala Nagar, lost Rs 20,000 in two transactions.
In his complaint, Venkataramana said he withdrew Rs 5,000 from the SBI ATM kiosk on St Mark’s Road at 6.10pm on June 6. Between 6.17pm and 6.18pm, he received two messages about two withdrawals of Rs 10,000 each. The withdrawals were made at HDFC bank ATM kiosk on MG Road. Venkataramana called the bank and blocked his account.
Venkataramana told TNIE, “I was shocked to learn that my card data was stolen, installed in a fake card and the amount withdrawn. Cubbon Park police sent policemen to the kiosk to find out if the skimming device was still there. The bank has assured me that their team will also investigate the case.” An investigating officer said Venkataramana had withdrawn money on June 4 using his debit card in the ATM kiosk. “So the skimmers have stolen his data on that day and not on June 6,” he said.
Explaining how the fraud takes place, the officer said, “The miscreants first go to an ATM kiosk and install a skimmer in the machine where we swipe our debit or credit card. They collect the skimmer from the kiosk after a few hours and steal the data. They insert the same data into a fake card, go to different kiosks and withdraw the money.”
* After entering ATM kiosk, press clear button. Then check for suspicious extra device in the swiping place. It can be felt when we touch the swiping place in the machine. Once device is found, alert police
* To make fake debit card, fraudsters need one day. So the moment they get the first message, they should call the bank and block account
* Skimming is also done in shopping malls, fuel stations and other places through swipe machine. Employee of these places will be involved in the fraud. So after blocking account, recall places you visited and inform police