After having noted down the last four digits and the PIN numbers of the debit cards of those visiting ATM centres, the gang would make online purchases

The CID has busted a four-member gang engaged in online shopping by misusing ATM (debit) cards of others.

Officials of the Crime Investigation Department seized valuables worth about Rs. 8.5 lakh including gold coins, mobile phones, a laptop, a car and Rs. 1.5 lakh in cash.

Additional Director General, CID, T. Krishna Prasad on Saturday said Nageswar Reddy of Revulakolanu in Kadapa and his associates — S. Gopal, P. Prabhakar Reddy and S. Vali — were held in the city on Friday.

The Cyber Crime police station had registered a case last July, based on complaint by a farmer from Tenali area in Guntur district about misuse of his ATM card to the tune of Rs. 94,040 by unknown persons. An analysis of online transactions revealed that data from the debit card had been stolen, and employed in purchasing goods. The identity of the accused was established after tracking the delivery address and enquiries.

Modus operandi

The accused and his associates would visit SBI/SBH ATM centres and wait for an opportunity to note down the last four digits of the debit card and PIN keyed in by the victim. As the gang could guess the rest of the digits on the cards, they could make online purchases.

After electronically tracking the movements of the main accused, police teams were sent to suspected ATM centres. Nageswar Reddy was held at one such ATM centre here. The gang later admitted to the offence. confessed to the police that they were able to commit the offences due to the security lapse in SBI/SBH ATM cards.

The CID has appealed to citizens to cover the keypad with their hand or with paper so that security details regarding their bank account may not be revealed.

More In: Hyderabad