Debit-card fraud: Conman swindles blind-man off his savings

May 16, 2016, 12:09 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

The man offered to help withdraw cash from an ATM for the 51-year-old visually impaired resident of Kalina; police are scouring CCTV camera footage for clues on the culprit

Kanhaiya Padvi's helplessness has only been compounded. The 51-year-old blind resident of Kalina has been conned of Rs 25,200 by his 'do-gooder', who stole his debit card under the pretext of helping him withdraw cash.

The day his debit card was stolen, Kanhaiya Padvi (left) had been accompanied to the ATM by his wife, Vijaya (right). Pic/Atul Kamble
The day his debit card was stolen, Kanhaiya Padvi (left) had been accompanied to the ATM by his wife, Vijaya (right). Pic/Atul Kamble

Padvi, a telephone operator with Air India who lives with his family at the Indian Airlines Colony near Kalina in Santacruz East, went out with his wife, Vijaya (43) on May 6 to withdraw cash from an ATM.

“My wife and I have a joint account in State Bank of India. We first went to a Bank of Baroda ATM, but it wasn’t operational. A young man there told us to go to an ATM of Canara Bank in Kalina, instead,” he told

As the couple reached the ATM, they found the man there as well. He offered to help Padvi withdraw cash, saying he was duty-bound to help a person with disabilities, said Vijaya. Since Vijaya is unlettered, she stood outside the ATM vestibule as the man and her husband went in. “We had just R25,300 in our account,” she said.

Inside, the man asked Padvi to give him his debit card PIN. After Padvi gave it out, the man told him that this ATM, too, wasn’t working. The couple then returned home.

3 transactions
An SMS from SBI at night revealed the true intentions of their ‘Good Samaritan’: they found that Rs 200 was withdrawn at that time from their bank account. The next day, the couple were in for a ruder shock.

When they approached the bank, they found that Rs 25,200 had been withdrawn from their account during the course of the previous day — in two transactions of Rs 10,000, another of Rs 5,000 and Rs 200 at night — with just Rs 100 left behind. The man had switched Padvi’s debit card with another while returning it.

“We didn’t get a single SMS of the withdrawals during the day,” complained Padvi.

An officer from the Vakola police station said a case of cheating was registered on May 7. “We are going through CCTV camera footage of the ATM vestibule. This is the second such cheating case in Santacruz in a month.”

A furious Padvi rued that conmen do not spare even the disabled. “I will now think twice before seeking help from others, but then again, what are my options? My wife is not literate. So, she can’t help me in such matters.”

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