3 cheats trick ATMs to render successful withdrawal of money as failed ones, arrested: Kota SP

Kota, Mar 23 (PTI) The Kota police has nabbed three alleged swindlers involved in withdrawing money from ATMs while tricking the machines to register the withdrawals as failed ones by switching off their power supply at the fag end of the transactions.

With the ATMs registering the transactions as failed ones, the banks would restore the money to account holders’ account despite the same having been successfully withdrawn, Kota City Superintendent of Police Vikas Pathak said.

The trick lied in switching off the ATMs power supply just after the cash has been dispensed in the ATM’s cash box but before actually having been pulled away, SP Pathak said.

The SP identified the three arrested accused as Bharatpur residents Taleem, 24, and Shaukeen, 31, and Kota resident Azhar Khan, and said the three are the part of an inter-state gang involved in withdrawing a total of Rs 25.4 lakh from scores of ATMs in 259 transactions.

Three other accused, identified as Daud, Robin and Mukem Khan are yet to be nabbed, the SP said.

He said the police busted the gang while working upon a complaint of Deputy Manager Naresh Pal Singh of the SBI’s Aerodrome Circle branch.

In his complaint lodged at the Vigyan Vihar police station on Monday, the bank official had told the police that at least 79 transactions of Rs 7,60,500 by some anti-social elements were detected at four SBI ATMs in Kota’s Vigyan Nagar area between January 19 and January 21.

It was found the ATMs were tampered with during each of these transactions with a complaint of transaction failure reported at the toll-free number as well as the bank portal, necessitating a restoration of money to the account, Singh had told police in his complaint.

On the complaint by SBI official, a team led by ASP Praveen Jain was formed and the probe was started, said Pathak, adding that on checking the CCTV footage of various ATMs, the police team identified the swindlers active around the ATM kiosks and arrested three of them.

The probe revealed that the gang members fraudulently withdrew Rs 7,60,500 using debit cards of 39 accounts of several banks at ATM kiosks in Vigyan Nagar area within three days between January 19 and 21, he said.

The arrested trio has confessed to having committed fraud with the same modus operandi in MP, UP, Maharashtra, Haryana and other states of the country, SP Pathak said.

So far, fraudulent withdrawals of Rs 25,40,000 through 86 debit cards of various banks have been detected SP Pathak said, adding further investigation is on in the matter.