Wednesday Dec 06, 2017
KARACHI: A CCTV footage has emerged showing schemers installing a skimming device inside an ATM machine located in the city’s DHA area.
The video shows two suspects, reportedly a Pakistani and a Chinese, fitting the device on the ATM machine during bank hours, in a skimming fraud that has cost hundreds of citizens in Pakistan millions of rupees over a couple of weeks.
The video is dated November 16, 2017 and shows the suspects installing the skimming device from 4:21 pm onwards.
The bank officials, after taking note of the footage, replaced the affected ATM machine and handed over the footage to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for investigation.
According to the FIA, 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.
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.
Director FIA Sindh Amir Ahmed Sheikh told Geo News that four such skimming cases were detected over the past year, which led to the arrest of three Chinese citizens. The aforementioned accused used to fit a skimming device in the card holder slot of the ATM machine, which obtained the users’ card data. The device was also fitted with a camera, which revealed the users’ password to them.
Confirming Geo News’ earlier report, Amir Sheikh said the FIA had not been notified of the latest fraud; the agency acted on its own accord after taking note of the matter.
A spokesperson from Habib Bank Limited (HBL) said that the bank confirmed skimming devices installed on four of its ATMs; three in Islamabad and one in Karachi.
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.
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.