Fraud who swapped dormant ATM cards of senior citizens and withdrew money, arrested | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Fraud who swapped dormant ATM cards of senior citizens and withdrew money, arrested

ByMegha Sood
Aug 01, 2022 12:21 AM IST

Within 10 to 20 minutes, the victims would get a text message of a transaction made from their bank accounts and then they would realise of being cheated

Mumbai: At first, a kind gesture by a 28-year-old man to help senior citizens, who struggled with withdrawing cash from the ATM machines would make them trust him. When they handed over their ATM cards to the accused, he would swap them within seconds with an inactive card, and tell them there’s no cash availability in the ATM machine and they should go elsewhere.

The accused would loiter near the ATMs outside the railway stations, prowling for senior citizens, who struggled with withdrawing money. (StockPic)
The accused would loiter near the ATMs outside the railway stations, prowling for senior citizens, who struggled with withdrawing money. (StockPic)

Within 10 to 20 minutes, the victims would get a text message of a transaction made from their bank accounts and then they would realise of being cheated.

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The Borivali Government Railway Police GRP officers arrested the man, identified as Vivek Verma, a resident of Chembur, and recovered 37 ATM cards of different banks from his pocket on Saturday.

He would loiter near the ATMs outside the railway stations, prowling for senior citizens, who struggled with withdrawing money.

According to Anil Kamble, senior police inspector of Borivali (GRP), after spotting his target, he used to stand behind them and use several tactics such as asking them to withdraw money fast, pretending to be getting late to catch a train.

Three months ago, a victim, Lakshmi Bhosle (64) approached the GRP after 40,000 was withdrawn from her account 10 minutes after she was offered help from a man outside the ATM centre outside Borivali station. The woman told the GRP officers that a man standing behind her was rushing her to withdraw the money, saying that he would miss his train.

The woman told the officers that the man then offered to help the woman. He then took the ATM card from the woman and inserted it in the ATM machine asking her the pin number. He then tried to withdraw the money twice but failed. He then handed over her card to her asking her to try elsewhere or after sometime as there was some problem and the card was not working.

The woman said that after she left the ATM, she received a message that 40,000 was withdrawn from her account.

The police then scanned the CCTV of the ATM and spotted the man. “We were keeping a watch on all the ATM centres near the railway stations. On Saturday, we found the man loitering around the same ATM centre. We then intercepted Verma and arrested him. Upon searching him, we found 37 dormant ATM cards,” said Kamble.

Verma, who is wanted for similar offences in several cases at GRP and Mumbai police, used to swap the cards within a fraction of a second without even getting noticed by the victim.

Expert advice from cops

Officials from GRP said that the callousness of people while discarding their expired ATM/debit cards was one of the reasons why people like Verma were able to get their hands on dormant cards. The official said that while discarding the card, if people follow the recommendations of the bank to cut the card in half, then such cards cannot be misused.

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