It is a lesson for all the ATM card users to check for tampering at any ATM cash dispenser before withdrawing cash from ATM centers. Pune police arrested three Romanian nationals for cloning ATM cards with the help of skimmer and withdrawing nearly Rs 28 lakh from 138 accounts in a span of eight days. After their arrest, police found that the fraudsters had managed to get the ATM card details of 1,030 ATM card users. Interestingly, all these ATM users whose information was cloned by fraudsters had withdrawn money from an ATM center of Punjab National Bank located at Pashan circle in the month of October. The arrests were made by Chatuhshrungi police station from Vasai on Tuesday. The arrested Romanian nationals have been identified as Erima Dragos Junete (26), Lazar Alim Kresti (22) and Balan Floria christinel (44) and police suspected that they are part of a bigger international racket of online fraud. The fraud came to light when bank manager of Punjab National Bank’s Pashan circle branch approached Chatuhshrungi police on December 13 with a complaint that money from some of their account holders was directly withdrawn without their knowledge. Following the complaint, when Chatuhshrungi police started investigation, they found that money was withdrawn from the accounts of only those account holders who had withdrawn money from the bank’s ATM center located at Pashan circle. Deputy commissioner of police (Zone III) Ganesh Shinde said, “When we investigated further, we found that the fraudsters used skimmer at the ATM center to steal the confidential information of the ATM card of the ATM card holders who withdrew money from the ATM center.”Assistant police inspector Sanjay Thenge of Chatuhshrungi police station who is part of the investigation told DNA, “The skimmer is a device which is attached at a cash dispenser where ATM card is inserted for withdrawing money. When a card is inserted, the sensor installed in the skimmer copies confidential details of the card. The fraudsters also used transparent keypad with the help of which they found out the password of ATM cards.””The fraudsters thoughtfully chose the month of October when it was Diwali festival and cash withdrawal was more during that time. After stealing the data of ATM card users, they cloned the ATM cards and started withdrawing money initially from Bangalore and later from Vasai,” Thenge said. According to police, the fraudsters withdrew some amount from Bangalore from December 11 till December 16 and later they moved to Vasai and withdrew some more money on December 18 and 19. Senior police inspector Dayanand Dhome, in charge of Chatuhshrungi police station who is investigating the case said, “In the span of these eight days. the fraudsters managed to withdraw nearly Rs 28 lakh from 138 accounts. When we got the information that the fraudsters were withdrawing money from Bangalore, we sent a team there but by the time it could reach there, we found that they had moved their base to Vasai from where they had made some transactions.””After finding some details of them in Vasai, we sent another team to Vasai and asked our team in Bangalore to join them in Vasai. On Tuesday, when the fraudsters had withdrawn some money from one of the ATM centers in Vasai, we managed to catch them red handed,” Dhome added. During investigation it was found that the gang had managed to steal the details of 1,030 ATM card holders. The arrested trio has been sent to police custody till December 28.
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