Bengaluru

Conmen who used ingenious way to take money from ATMs land in police custody

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While they withdrew money using a valid ATM card, they ensured the bank balance remained the same

The city police, on Tuesday, nabbed a 23-year-old cab driver from Delhi and his associate for robbing money from ATMs that were not manned by security guards.

According to the police, the accused had developed an ingenious technique to withdraw cash from the account without the money getting debited from it.

Elaborating on their modus operandi, inspector Mohammed Mukarram, said the accused, after identifying a vulnerable kiosk, would block the CCTV cameras by turning them away from the machine.

They would then use a valid ATM card to withdraw cash, usually a couple of thousands of rupees. As soon the machine spit out the notes, one man would hold on to the notes without taking them out for a few seconds.

“This would trigger a message that there was a fault with the machine. Meanwhile, his partner, who had surveyed the ATM kiosk earlier, would switch off the power supply. Only then, would the man holding the cash withdraw the amount,” said Mr. Mukarram.

At it was halted during the process of dispensation, the amount being debited would not reflect in the account. The balance never decreased, thereby causing a loss to the bank concerned instead.

“The accused planned the operation meticulously. Using this technique, the accused have duped many banks worth several lakhs,” Mr. Mukarram said.

They would also call the customer care centre raising a complaint that the ATMs was faulty.

The scam came to light after a bank branch manager, on visiting a kiosk in Yeswanthpur, noticed that the CCTVs had been turned away from their actual focal point. A team of police in plain clothes kept watch on the ATM, and caught the duo red-handed on Saturday.

The accused, Shahzad, 24, and his associate Shahid, 28, hail from Haryana and moved to New Delhi where they allegedly committed a series of ATMs frauds.

“After the police stepped up the security in the capital, they moved to other metros and arrived in Bengaluru in August. Since then, they have been moving around the city identifying ATMs without security guards.

“They confessed that they have asked family members friends and relatives to open bank accounts mostly in nationalised banks and borrowed their debit cards. They lived lavishly, flying to various cities and staying in hotels,” said a senior police officer.

The police have taken the duo into custody and efforts are on to track down two of their associates who are on the run. “Such incidents highlight the urgency for banks to ensure that their kiosks are manned by security personnel round the clock,” said a senior police official.

Meanwhile, in the last three days, three skimming cases have been lodged in Parappana Agrahara police station while in Channammanakere Acchaka, some unidentified damaged an ATM in an attempt to break into it.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 8:36:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/conmen-who-used-ingenious-way-to-take-money-from-atms-land-in-police-custody/article30151031.ece

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