The very day this paper reported how the Bandra police station was inundated with complaints from citizens who became victims of ATM fraud after using a Union Bank of India ATM on Hill Road, the cops revealed that they have already identified the culprits and are close to arresting them, thanks to CCTV footage from the bank. (Read Story: This Bandra ATM is a theft trap)
The number of complaints has now risen to 31, and the total amount involved has gone up to Rs 7.8 lakh.In the front-page report ‘Bandra ATM that’s a theft trap’ (September 20), Sunday mid-day had reported how the Bandra police and cyber crime cell suspected that the complainants had lost their money as a result of card cloning.
This is a process by which fraudsters clone ATM cards and use the duplicates to empty the victims’ bank accounts. On Saturday night, the Bandra police received CCTV footage from Union Bank of India, which showed the accused planting skimmers or magnetic strips inside the ATMs to record card details.
“The CCTV footage shows two people committing the crime, and they were not hiding their faces while doing it. In fact, they have already been identified and we will soon arrest them,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
The officer also added that they were investigating the possible involvement of a third person — a history-sheeter who has committed similar crimes in the past. By Saturday evening, the police received a few more applications, bringing the total up to 31 cases (there were no fresh complaints on Sunday).
One lady complainant claimed that R1 lakh had been withdrawn from her account fraudulently. Apart from the Bandra police and the Cyber Crime cell, the Crime Branch is also investigating the matter. No FIRs have been filed yet, as there are several complaints that have come from outside Bandra police station’s jurisdiction.
The police will now sort through these complaints and forward them to the correct jurisdiction. Meanwhile, an official from the bank told mid-day, “The bank is also assuring those who have lost their money that they will get it back soon.”