Banks must ensure that ATMs are safe to use, reports L. Srikrishna

Many ATMs in Madurai suburbs are unsafe as they do not have trained security guards, police officers say.

Recently, the police had arrested a four-member gang which had allegedly fitted mobile phone cameras to ATM machines and a skimmer to withdraw cash fraudulently. The modus operandi was simple. By attaching the cameras and the skimmers, the gang, with the aid of reader machines got it embossed on fake cards and was able to withdraw cash.

Many card holders were baffled by the missing cash.Only after an account holder lodged a complaint did the crime come to light, Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said.

“We will take up the issue with bankers at the quarterly bankers’ security meeting as there were at least 100 ATMs in the rural jurisdiction covering Samayanallur, Melur, Usilampatti, Tirupparankundram, Peraiyur and Oomachikulam sub-divisions,” he said.

Ramesh, a manager of a public sector bank, said that many banks had entrusted the operations of ATMs with private parties, who outsourced staff for loading cash and providing security to the outlets. Following advice from the police, the banks had fitted cameras. But non-adherence to all the rules had resulted in fraudsters targeting the ATMs, he said.

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