The duo used to target senior citizens and less educated people at ATM counters on the pretext of helping them and used to steal data from their cards using skimming devices.(FILE PHOTO.)
The duo used to target senior citizens and less educated people at ATM counters on the pretext of helping them and used to steal data from their cards using skimming devices.(FILE PHOTO.)

Two Gaya residents arrested in Kolkata for cloning ATM cards of senior citizens

Both the accused are residents of Gaya, Bihar. They were arrested from Sealdah station when they were about to board the Darjeeling Mail.
Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2020 01:02 AM IST

The Kolkata Police on Thursday night arrested Mudassar Khan and Irfanuddin for allegedly stealing information from ATM cards of numerous unsuspecting senior citizens and less educated people when they visited unguarded ATM counters in the city.

Both the accused are residents of Gaya, Bihar. They were arrested from Sealdah station when they were about to board the Darjeeling Mail. Electronic devices used for cloning ATM cards with stolen information, 39 cloned cards, a magnetic strip reader and a laptop were seized from their possession, said joint commissioner of police (crime) Murli Dhar Sharma. The accused used to stay in rented flats at Jadavpur and Tiljala in south Kolkata.

Sharma said the duo used to target senior citizens and less educated people at ATM counters on the pretext of helping them and used to steal data from their cards using skimming devices.

In November last year, about 80 bank account holders in Kolkata lost a few lakh rupees to an interstate gang that used skimmer devices to access ATM personal identification numbers (PIN) of unsuspecting people. Kolkata Police arrested Siliviu Florin Spiridon (28), a resident of Constanta, Romania, from Greater Kailash in this connection.

Panic gripped pensioners and salaried people in Kolkata on November 1 when at least 30 people found that a few lakh rupees had been drawn from their accounts from ATMs in south Delhi.

The withdrawals were made soon after salaries and pensions were deposited into these accounts. The ATMs used to make the withdrawals are located in Greater Kailash and Lajpat Nagar areas of south Delhi. The number of complaints received by police crossed 80 in the next few days.

The victims, who have accounts in different nationalized and corporate banks, came to know of the theft from text messages sent by their respective banks. All the victims mentioned in their police complaints that they recently used certain ATMs in south Kolkata. This prompted the police to suspect that the culprits placed skimmer devices over the keypads of the ATM machines to record passwords. The complainants said they did not receive any call or messages requesting passwords.

In 2018, a similar operation was carried out by a gang in which two Romanian nationals were involved. The gang was busted and ten people, including two Romanians, were arrested. They are now in jail. This gang, too, used ATMs in Delhi to withdraw cash.

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