Kolkata ATM fraud: Guards at outsourced outlets mandatory, say authorities

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 07, 2018 10:46 hrs
Punjab National Bank ATM

Kolkata: In the wake of an ATM fraud in the city that may have compromised debit/credit cards data of more than 600 bank customers, the West Bengal Consumer Affairs Department on Monday made deployment of guards mandatory at all outsourced ATM outlets.

State Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande warned that banks would be penalised if any of their outsourced ATMs are found unguarded.

"It has been decided that all the outsourced Automated Teller Machines outlets ought to have guards. As for the State Bank of India, they have guards in all their ATM outlets in the city. I have also asked other banks to post guards in their respective outlets," Pande said after holding a meeting with the representatives of the RBI and the city bank officials.

"Me and my department officials will inspect the ATMs at regular intervals. If any of the outsourced ATM outlets are found unguarded, the respective bank will be penalised," he added.

The ATM fraud was allegedly committed by using skimming machines at unmanned ATM counters to clone users' card details and later fraudulently withdraw money from those accounts. Two Romanian nationals have been held at Delhi in the case.

Police on Monday said that according to their statements, one Colonel Mire in Romania might be the fraud kingpin.

Meanwhile, a locally-made skimming machine was seized from an ATM outlet of a private bank in south Kolkata's Kasba area on Sunday, police said.

"The unmanned ATM in Kasba's Bakultala belongs to IndusInd Bank. It was found that the data skimming machine installed at the ATM was locally-made. Police is going to issue a lookout notice against two youths in the case," a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.

According to police, fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 18-20 lakh had been reported but the numbers might go up as card details of over 600 accounts in three banks are feared to have been compromised.

The affected accounts mostly belonged to Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank while some cases of fraudulent withdrawals were reported by the customers of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Union Bank of India in the city, Police had said.

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