Police arrested Jasveer Singh (24) of Gehle village on Saturday for allegedly making online transactions through the debit cards of unsuspecting visitors to ATM machines by copying their card details in the garb of helping them with their transaction.
According to SHO Harpal Singh, the accused is a habitual offender who was also arrested in February 2013 for the same crime. "Jasveer was earlier arrested in February last year and was out on bail since May 2014. On October 17, Balraj Singh, a truck driver, withdrew some cash using his debit card of Punjab National Bank from the ATM adjoining the district branch. Jasveer was present near the ATM machine and he copied the card details through which, he later made purchases of at least Rs 32,000."
Later, the victim approached the bank which examined the CCTV footage and the accused was arrested. The SHO said the accused used to keep an eye on people who were semi-literate to use their debit cards. "He often copied their card details in his cell phone under the garb of helping them with their transaction. In earlier cases, he purchased electronic goods from websites like flipkart and then sold those items to local shopkeepers. As he always had the genuine receipts of the electronic goods, none of his buyers doubted him. His SIM card was also issued on a fake identity proof. No specific delivery address was provided during e-shopping and the accused contacted the delivery guy directly to collect the item. An FIR under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered," he said.
Meanwhile, it was found that most of the ATM machines in the city are operating without a security guard. Locals complained that they had hardly seen a guard near the ATM machines. "We have raised our concerns with the bank officials but to no avail," said Pushpinder Singh Rimple.
On being asked about the absence of security guards, the SHO said, "It is the responsibility of the banks to keep a security guard near the ATM machines. I would request all account holders to subscribe to SMS alerts to avoid any transaction without their knowledge."
The bank officials could not be reached for their comment.