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38 ATM rigging cases in 2 days; banks conduct scrutiny
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - With 38 cases of ATMs being rigged with card skimming tools and hidden cameras reported across the city in a few days, banks have begun conducting a scrutiny of the teller machines.

The City Police Crime Branch said 14 cases were reported at Paltan Bazar, six at Hatigaon and 18 at Dispur.

Using two devices – one fixed to the keyboard and another in the card reader – the fraudsters steal card details. “It is not easy to detect the devices. We have recovered one such pair at an ATM at Hatigaon,” a bank official said.

The official suspected that the devices are fixed in one ATM for a few minutes, to get the details of a few people. Then, the devices are shifted to another ATM.

Customers have reported loss of different amounts from their accounts. In the 14 cases reported at Paltan Bazar, customers have lost around Rs 5.09 lakh, while in six cases reported at Hatigaon, customers were duped of Rs 3 lakh.

DGP Kula Saikia discussed the incidents in detail with city Police Commissioner Deepak Kumar. “We have sought cooperation from the banks. Banks are checking all the functional ATMs for presence of such devices,” Saikia said.

Police has been directed to pick up criminals who have past record of committing such frauds. Assam Police is also in touch with Mumbai Police.

Police sources said there is “progress” in the case but refused to disclose the details citing ongoing probes. “But we are hopeful of nabbing the criminals soon. All are from outside the State,” an official said.

The skimmers capture the information stored on the magnetic strip of an ATM card. A camera installed somewhere above the key pad captures the ATM PIN as the user inserts it in an ATM or at a shop. These details are then used to clone cards to withdraw cash from ATMs or do online shopping.

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