Three ATMs shut after Rs 10 lakh siphoned off in Jamshedpur by hackers
The police have sent notices to the bank authorities as most of these ATMs did not have guards, despite clear guidelines
Cyber criminals hacked into at least three bank ATMs (automatic teller machines) in Jamshedpur and siphoned off over Rs 10 lakh, following which the police have closed down these ATMs and started investigating several others, police said on Wednesday.
“We have closed down State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs at Circuit House (CH) area petrol pump and road no 15 Jawaharnagar (Mango) on Purilia Road and the Axis bank ATM at Karandih Chowk. Our investigation showed that cyber fraudsters had replaced the card readers in these hacked ATMs with their own card readers and could have cloned ATM cards,” Upendra Kumar Mandal, Jamshedpur cyber police station officer-in-charge (OC), said.
The officer said Axis Bank provided them with the CCTV camera footage of their ATMs on Wednesday while CCTV footage and other details were still awaited from SBI. “We have sent notices to both the bank authorities as most of these ATMs did not have guards, despite clear guidelines. We are going to hold a meeting with the bank authorities soon and ask them to close ATMs without guards and secluded locations by 8pm,” said Mandal.
Mandal said in one case, Rs 6 lakh was withdrawn in three ATM transactions and 61 online withdrawals from the SBI account of a district police personnel Upendra Nath Mahato, posted with Sitaramdera police station in the city. Mahato had withdrawn Rs 20,000 from an SBI ATM with guards at Mango Chowk on July 10, after which cyber criminals withdrew Rs 6 lakh from his account in three ATM withdrawals and 61 online transactions.
“We are investigating 11 more complaints by city residents involving such ghost withdrawals amounting to another Rs 3 lakh. In most cases, withdrawals were made from ATMs in Dhanbad, Gaya and Patna. There was a lull after we arrested Nawada-based fraudster Ritesh but the cyber gangs in Jamtara, Deogarh and Nawada have become active again,” added Mandal.
Rupees 24, 000 were siphoned off from the bank account of another complainant through an Axis Bank ATM on Old Purulia Road on September 2. Rupees 50, 000 were withdrawn from the account of a Sonari resident Suraj Kumar on August 3 and 4 through ATMs in Dhanbad. Rupees 30, 000 were withdrawn in five instalments from the account of UCIL employee Shashi Mugnekar on September 7.
In March last year, nine SBI ATMs—three in Mango, two in Sakchi, one each in Sonari, Kadma, Pardih and Hata Chowk—had to be closed after they were hacked, triggering suspicion of hundreds of ATM cards having been cloned by the cyber criminals.