Tamil Nadu

₹48 lakh stolen from SBI ATM cash deposit machines

The fraudsters targeted only cash deposit machines and used a single debit card.  

The city police have launched a hunt to nab a gang that stole at least ₹48 lakh from various SBI ATMs with cash deposit machines.

The gang stole cash from ATMs in Velachery, Taramani and Vadapalani — altogether 18 places in the city limits and the districts. The police said the fraudsters targeted only cash deposit machines and used a single debit card.

Using the card, they opted to withdraw the cash. When the cash was in the dispenser, they blocked the sensor signal for 20 seconds and took the money. If the cash is not withdrawn within this period, the machine takes the money back and the amount debited from the account is reversed. However, in this case, the fraudsters held it open, then released it, giving the machine the cue that it was taking back the cash while they had actually removed the notes.

The bank staff noticed a loss of cash from the dispenser though the corresponding debits had not been made, a police officer said, explaining the modus operandi of the gang.

All these fraudulent withdrawals occurred between June 17 and 18 from only SBI automated cash deposit-withdrawal machines. The staff of each bank complained to the police in their jurisdiction.

On Tuesday, City Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal held a meeting with R. Radhakrishna, chief general manager of SBI, Chennai circle, and other officials. The bank officials briefed the police about the possible modus operandi to withdraw the cash in this case.

19 cases reported

Addressing the media, Mr. Jiwal said about 19 cases were reported in Tamil Nadu in two days. A couple of similar incidents were reported elsewhere in the country. “Now, it has been stopped following steps taken by the bank. It looks like the work of a gang from outside Tamil Nadu. We are working on certain leads,” he said.

The Commissioner said the offence was committed by exploiting a technical flaw in the machines, which was immediately rectified by the bank.

“As an immediate step, we have disabled all machines which have problems. These machines will not dispense cash as of now,” Mr. Radhakrishna said.

The police have collected CCTV footage from the ATMs and intensified the investigation.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 5:33:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/48-lakh-stolen-from-sbi-atm-cash-deposit-machines/article34919852.ece

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