Taking help from a stranger to withdraw money from ATMs could be a dangerous proposition as the samaritan may turn out to be a conman, as many people who fell victim to Nikhil Thakur realised.
Lavish lifestyle, craze for branded clothes, shoes and latest gadgets is what made a 20-year-old youth, hooked to crime and he used his smartness to his advantage for duping people in garb of helping them to operate ATMs.
20-year-old Nikhil Thakur, who hails from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, has been duping people for the past two years by fraudulently withdrawing money from their accounts after offering them help in operating ATMs in various kiosks in various parts of SAS Nagar, Dera Bassi, Zirakpur and Chandigarh.
Nikhil Thakur, who passed class 12 has been working in a call centre in SAS Nagar, in the name of Amandeep Singh. Fond of a lavish lifestyle, Nikhil used to spend all the booty made from such withdrawals on these items and renting out houses in posh sectors in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar.
Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar revealing his modus operandi says, "His modus operandi was very simple, he used to move around various ATMs and target victims who used to come to withdraw money from the ATM. He offered help to people for operating their ATMs to withdraw money and after the transaction would hand over cash to the victim and before returning the ATM card, he used to change the same without the knowledge of the victim. Later, he used the ATM card to withdraw money from different ATMs thus duping people."
Nikhil is wanted in a number of cases in Hamirpur, Chandigarh, Dera Bassi, Zirakpur and SAS Nagar.
Police recovered 7 ATM cards of two banks, one PAN card and false identity cards.
Police recovered a Yamaha bike worth Rs 1.20 lakh, a laptop worth Rs 35,000 and loads of branded clothes worth Rs 40,000 and a pair of shoes costing Rs 10,000.