A State Bank of India ATM was hacked at Borivli and cyber criminals withdrew money from the teller machines at Lalbaug, Marine Drive and Andheri on August 3, with the total cash withdrawn amounting to Rs 5 lakh.
The modus operandi was similar to a two-month-old case where two Bulgarian nationals fitted a skimming device in an Axis Bank ATM outside the police headquarters and removed Rs 15.48 lakh.
So far 13 people have come forward to register complaints. Most of the complainants are customers of SBI, and others use different banks.
“Accounts of people who carried out transactions on August 3 were hacked. We have demanded CCTV footage from the bank for further investigation. The modus operandi in the Axis and SBI bank cases is very similar,” said a police officer.
Pradeep Karade, assistant general manager (ATM in-charge) of SBI said, “We are probing the case from our angle and have demanded CCTV footage from the bank from where the criminals withdrew money.” Narayan Khaire, a senior inspector of Borivli police station, said, “As soon as they money was withdrawn from different parts of the city, account holders received an SMS.” Pushpa Bhatia, a complainant, said that Rs 25,000 was withdrawn from her account and she received an SMS immediately.
Vinita Khiyara, a student of banking and insurance, who lost Rs 20,000 said, “We met some representatives of the bank on Wednesday evening and they assured us that money will be returned within six-seven days.”
The Borivli police has registered a case against unknown persons under sections 420 (cheating), 419 (conspiracy), 43(B) (illegality) and 66(C)(D) (cyber crime) of the Indian Penal Code.
The skim scam
The skimming device allows hackers to get account details and use it on the magnetic strips of cloned cards. The skimmer is a thin electromagnetic device, which is slyly inserted into the slot meant for the ATM card.
On March 21, four SBI account holders from Borivli lost money amounting to Rs 1,87,000 via a Bank of Baroda branch in Andheri. CCTV footage captured the incident and an accused in a helmet was seen taking cash. Vijay More (62), retired deputy manager of SBI, said, “I received four SMSes within two minutes around 11 pm on March 21 and immediately blocked my ATM card with the help of the helpline number. However, despite a case being registered no money was received from the bank.”
“Since cases of hacking data from ATMs are on the rise, all banks should use biometric teller machines to prevent such cases,” More added.