Vasaikars woke up on Thursday not to good morning messages, but rather, to alerts that money has been withdrawn from their bank accounts without their knowledge.
More than 30 account holders rapidly kept getting message after message of the withdrawal amounts while transactions were happening, even though all of them had their debit cards with them. The transactions happened so rapidly that before they could take any counteraction, their daily limit had been exhausted.
The fraudsters deliberately chose to commit the fraud late at night as people would be fast asleep and wouldn’t notice the messages immediately. The withdrawals were made from ATMs in Haryana, Delhi and nearby areas.
“Till now around 35 complainants have registered their grievance and the amount could be more than Rs 15 lakh,” said Nitin Rathod, 39, one of the victims. He also confirmed that he has lost Rs 25,000 in two transactions of Rs 10,000 each and one of Rs 5000. The money was withdrawn at an ATM somewhere in Delhi on Thursday morning. “The transactions happened so fast in couple of minutes that there was no time to react,” he said.
Another victim, Donald Gonsalves, said, “Since I use an international debit card I do get confirmation calls as I use it globally. Today I got to know about this fraud as I got a call about three transactions of Rs 10,000 each.”
The Manikpur cops have filed an FIR of cheating against unknown people and are investigating the case. The worrying part is that all the victims had carried out transactions using their debit cards at various ATMs. This means that the fraudsters have installed this card cloning software across ATMs in Vasai and it is not just one ATM which is compromised.
Anil Patil, Senior PI Manikpur Police Station said, ” We have registered a case against unknown people for cheating and sections of IT act and are investigating further. The bank has informed us that those who have lost money would get a refund in the next three to four days.”