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Tuesday Dec 05 2017
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ATM skimming victims begin to get reimbursed

ATM skimming can be regarded as identity theft for debit cards. Photo: Mehranpost 

KARACHI: A spokesperson of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) said on Tuesday that the bank has begun reimbursing customers who lost money in the ATM skimming fraud.

Hundreds of citizens in Pakistan have lost millions of rupees over a couple of weeks after they fell prey to an ATM skimming fraud.

The schemers withdrew money in China, while the transactions were made in Karachi and Islamabad through the fraudulent scheme.

The HBL spokesperson said they are constantly in touch with customers who were victims of the fraud.

The official added that the State Bank of Pakistan and other government departments have been informed of the latest and complete situation.

After the necessary investigation, the bank said it transferred back the amount into the customers’ accounts. 

Mega fraud 

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) says skimmers withdrew money using data from 579 ATM cards. They accessed the accounts by placing skimming devices in different ATMs.

Account holders only came to know of the theft after being informed by their respective banks, the agency said.

A spokesperson for HBL had said that the bank confirmed skimming devices installed on four of its ATMs; three in Islamabad and one in Karachi.

The FIA has started probing into the matter under the Cyber Crimes Act.

The matter has also been raised on a diplomatic level with China. 

FIA officials say they have written letters to Chinese diplomats apprising them of the details of the fraud.

Karachi's Clifton worst hit by fraud

The highest number of incidents of ATM skimming took place at a major shopping mall in Karachi's Clifton area.

In order to make more and more from their scheme, the fraudsters placed a skimming device on one ATM and made others dysfunctional.

This led all potential victims of the fraud to the ATM with the skimming device.

What is ATM skimming?

ATM skimming can be regarded as identity theft for debit cards. Fraudsters employ different techniques to record your PIN code for accessing the hard-earned money in your account.

In some instances, the schemers stick a fake card-reader on the ATM, while in others they place a fake keypad on the machine to get your PIN code.

Another technique employed in this crime is the use of a hidden camera, which records your PIN code and conveys it to fraudsters.

A few ATM skimmers also change the entire display of the ATM.

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