A 22-year-old aspiring model and her driver have been arrested for allegedly swapping original debit cards with fake ones at ATMs on the pretext of helping people withdraw cash.
The woman and her associate, Shakil Malik (29), were arrested on August 7. The police have recovered six ATM cards from the two.
The police received a complaint on July 15 from one Anita Rani who said she had been duped by a 22-year-old who volunteered to help her withdraw cash from a Punjab National Bank ATM in Indra Vihar, north Delhi.
“Rani had gone to withdraw cash when the woman went inside the ATM cabin to help her. As Rani was not well-versed with the machine, the woman offered to withdraw cash on her behalf. When Rani handed over her card, the woman swiftly swapped it with a duplicate debit card. She told Rani the ATM machine did not have enough cash,” Vijay Singh, DCP, northwest, said.
After Rani reached home, she received an SMS that said `25,000 had been withdrawn from her account. She checked her debit card and found that it was a fake with no signatures.
The police registered a case and launched a probe.
On August 7, Rani spotted the 22-year-old model lurking around the same PNB bank ATM along with an aide. She immediately informed the nearest beat constable. A police team reached the spot and nabbed the duo.
During questioning, the woman told the police that she was an aspiring model and needed money to get good portfolio pictures clicked.
“She learned the method of swapping ATM cards from the Internet. She later roped in Shakil to help her dupe people. Five cases of cheating have been solved with their arrest,” Singh said.
The duo said they used to drive around in their Santro car to identify potential victims. They often went to ATMs that were out of order. Whenever they spotted a senior citizen struggling to withdraw cash, they used to offer help and in the process interchange their debit cards.