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22 people lose over 5 lakh in Kolkata to ATM fraud

The Kolkata Police have received at least 22 complaints of people losing money from their bank accounts through fraudulent means over the past two-three days despite having their debit cards with themselves, an officer said on Monday. The complaints have mostly come from the Jadavpur area under the Southern suburban division of city police, Joint Commissioner (crime) Murlidhar Sharma said.

“We have received 22 complaints. The frauds have withdrawn in total approximately Rs 5 lakh from the bank accounts of the complainants. The amounts withdrawn through fraudulent means range from a minimum of Rs 10,000 to a maximum of Rs 30,000,” Sharma said.

As per preliminary investigation findings, all the victims claimed that they never lost their debit cards and also did not share their ATM pins with anybody.

Police sources suspect the handiwork of miscreants who used skimming devices to clone debit cards. The bank fraud section of the detective department is dealing with the matter. Majority of the customers who have lost money have accounts in Punjab National Bank.

The police suspect the account holders might have swiped their card from ATMs located close to the Sukanta Bridge in Jadavpur area.

One of the victims said she had Rs 30,00 in her account. “Suddenly on Sunday I found the entire money has been withdrawn in two separate transactions. Nobody asked me for my debit card pin. I didn’t receive any one time password (OTP) also.”

Last year, fraudsters had withdrawn large amounts of money by attaching skimming devices to some ATMS in south Kolkata areas such as Gariahat, Lake Gardens and Jadavpur. The police had then arrested a gang of Romanians for the crime, who are still in jail.

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