A recent fraud committed apparently with duplicate debit cards suggests that using pocket skimmers is not the only way to clone credit or debit cards. Skimming can take place even while making transactions using a machine in the bank ATM centres, say investigators. Four employees of The Hindu received messages on their mobile phones that Rs. 15,000, Rs. 6,000, Rs. 900 and Rs. 1,000 were withdrawn from different bank ATM centres in Maharashtra using their debit cards. The staffers suspected that tricksters cloned their cards and used them for fraudulent withdrawal.

The Hyderabad Cyber Crime police station initially tried to find out how the fraudsters managed to clone their cards. While three employees had ICICI bank debit cards, the fourth one has a Union Bank of India debit card.

The police found that the four persons frequently used a bank ATM centre near their office. Further, the bank officials too admitted that they received many complaints of card cloning from that ATM centre. This raised the suspicion of ‘ATM skimming' in which a portable electronic card reader is fixed over the ATM's card reader slot or mini-cameras used to record the customer's PIN keystrokes.

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