Pics: Spoorthi Ullal
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (DV)
Mangaluru, Feb 28: With an aim to create awareness among the public, the city police on Sunday February 28 gave a demonstration on ATM skimming, a technique that has been used by fraudsters to withdraw money from ATMs without the knowledge or approval of bank account holders.
The demonstration comes in the backdrop of the arrest of four persons on February 24 on charges of fitting four ATMs in Mangaluru with skimming devices in order to fraudulently withdraw money. Gladwin Jinto Joy alias Jintu (37), resident of Thrissur, Kerala; Dinesh Singh Rawat (44), Prem Nagar, Delhi; Abdul Majeed (27), Koodlu, Kasargod; and Rahul T S (24), resident of Alappuzha, Kerala, were arrested for attaching skimming devices in the ATMs of Bank of India at Kulai, Canara Bank at Nagori and Capitanio, SBI ATM at Mangaladevi, Canara Bank ATM at Chilimbi etc, through which data of bank customers was extracted. Fake ATM cards were made with these details and money was withdrawn in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kasargod, Goa, Madikeri etc.
Addressing the media after the demonstation on Sunday, DCP Hariram Shankar urged the public to be wary of such fraudsters and said that an organized gang has been operating in various places. "Recently four accused were arrested on charges of ATM skimming. During interrogation, they revealed that they had procured the skimming devices through Alibaba website. These devices are easily available on websites. ATM skimming is a technique that involves hardware, software and some skills
"It is an organized gang which operates from various places including from outside Karnataka. They were involved in ATM skimming in Delhi, Chennai, Goa, and Kerala. Basically they were concentrating on metropolitan cities and taking the help of locals to find suitable ATMs," he said.
"The accused would target ATMs of post offices to withdraw cash, because most of the post offices do not have chip readers. The skimming devices would write the data to a card that does not have chip.
"When people come to know that they have lost money, they need to go to the bank within three days and register a complaint. As per RBI guidelines, their money will be returned to their account. As of now, the accused are under police custody and investigation in progress," he said, adding that the investigation has been in progress since November and December 2020.
On the recent action against illegal transportation of sand, the DCP said, "We noticed vehicles passing the border from Kerala and coming into Karnataka. After passing the border checkpost, they would stop for tea in Karnataka and then return to Kerala without any further work. This created suspicion, as no one would want to pass the border just to have tea. All other borders were closed due to Covid, so they had to move on this route. The police kept a keen watch and came to know that sand was being transported illegally in small vehicles from Karnataka when the checkpost was closed from 4 pm to 7 pm. After crossing the Karanataka border, the sand is dumped in an open place inside the Kerala border. This was the modus operandi. At around 3 am on February 26 and 27, we waylaid a vehicle and took some persons into custody for illegal sand transportation. We have booked the accused under IPC sections 379, 353, and 34."
The DCP said that the district administration is very keen to curb illegal sand transportation, and hence, the deputy commissioner has asked the police department to identify vulnerable points to install CCTV cameras. The police department has identified 180 such spots, and a proposal has been sent to the district administration in this regard. Under district mines and minerals funds, the district administration has a provision to allot funds to install CCTV cameras. Once the CCTV cameras are installed, a centralized monitoring system will be enforced to curb illegal sand transportation, he said.
He also said that the department will seek the district administration's help to ensure a proper route map while transporting sand which make it easier to cancel the transport permit if the sand is being transported in any other route or illegally. In the past three weeks, three road accidents have occurred due to illegal transportation, he said.