Around 29 accounts of Axis Bank, including 12 of Mumbai policemen, have been hacked causing a loss of Rs.13 lakh to these customers. The money has been withdrawn from ATMs in Greece using duplicate debit cards, said the police here said on Friday.

The crime came to light on Thursday after several policemen received messages claiming money has been withdrawn from their salary accounts. After verifying the account status they came to know that the money had been withdrawn from Greece using debit cards.

“Not only policemen, but even other customers have faced the same problem. Some of them have approached us and we have found out that money has been withdrawn from 29 accounts using ATM skimming,” S.N. Chowdhary, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) said. ATM skimming essentially means that criminals use hidden electronics to steal the information of a card inserted in an ATM machine, including its PIN. According to the Mumbai Police, a professional gang of criminals was involved in the ATM skimming racket.

“The members of the gang who gathered the essential information about debit cards, passed it on to their counterparts in Greece, who withdrew money there by cloning the debit cards,” said Mr. Chowdhary.

Senior Maharashtra police officers got in touch with officials of the bank. The Mumbai Crime Branch will investigate the case.

Bank assurance

An official spokesperson of Axis Bank said, “A small number of our customers’ accounts have been impacted through transactions at compromised ATMs in Mumbai belonging to multiple banks. We have reversed the impact in all such customers’ accounts with immediate effect, to ensure they are not inconvenienced. We are undertaking a full investigation into the incident and are working closely with law enforcement officials in this regard. We wish to assure our customers that Axis Bank stands committed to protecting their interests and that we have the necessary systems to ensure the same.”

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