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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Cops now want alarms at ATMs to keep burglars at bay

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 20, 2013
First Published: 22:01 IST(20/3/2013) | Last Updated: 13:10 IST(21/3/2013)

In a bid to put an end to increasing number of automated teller machine (ATM) break-ins and credit/debit cards cloning cases, Chandigarh police are working in tandem with banks to set up alarms at ATM kiosks/booths.

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These alarms would be programmed to go off in the banks or control rooms in case of tampering with the ATMs.

Police beat officers maintaining a vigil at ATM booths in their areas have been asked to report to the bank manager if the security guard deployed there was found sleeping during night hours.

The issues were discussed during a meeting of bank representatives and police officials under the chairmanship of UT DIG Alok Kumar at Sector 29 here on Wednesday.

The meeting underscored the poor performance of security agencies at majority of the ATMs across the city.

A senior police officer said that they were already in touch with the government and private banks for setting up buzzers, similar to devices installed at the banks which would indicate attempts to install devices on ATM machines for stealing data required for cloning cards.

Installation of theft alarms at jewellery shop across the city has proved a success in bringing down theft cases.

Nearly 43 complaints were received by Chandigarh police in the last two months regarding cloning of ATM debit/credit cards. 

Representative of various banks highlighted that the guards deployed by security agencies tend to take it easy and sleep during duty hours.

Subhash Arora of Oriental Bank of Commerce said, “In case of loss or break-in at an ATM booth, the bank authorities are liable and have to bear the brunt. In fact, the OBC has switched over to its own security staff than outsourcing the job.”

DIG Alok Kumar said, “The banks, police and public need to collectively work towards ensuring safety at ATM kiosks. The banks should come up with better quality CCTV cameras at the ATMs and bank to ensure efficiency in investigations.”

He said that a database access system would be set up jointly by the police and the banks to keep a record of customers with account across different branches in the country.

Video clips were also shown to the bank authorities during the interaction depicting how thefts are conducted at the ATM centres.

Police warn of online frauds
The UT police warned city residents not to pay attention to messages sent on their mobile phones and emails announcing prizes/awards worth lakhs and even crores of rupees. The police said through such practices, frauds ask resident to deposit money in their accounts. Police also told banks to brief residents as to how to check the menace of cloning of debit/credit cards.     

Dos and dont's
Do not hand over forms to strangers to deposit money at banks.
Set up help desks at banks to rule out frauds in deposit or withdrawal of cash
Weekly meetings of bank and police officials to take stock of security measures
Vigil at cheque drop boxes in banks to check thefts

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