Con artists seem to be having a free run in the jurisdiction of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police. A 29-year-old auto-rickshaw driver became the latest victim of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) crooks after he lost Rs. 33,000 to a debit card fraud.
According to the contents of the FIR registered at the Virar police station, an unidentified crook fled with the auto-rickshaw drivers debit card and the knowledge of its Personal Identification Number (PIN) under the pretext of helping him withdraw money.
The incident was reported from the ATM booth of a reputed multinational bank in the Keshav Nagar area of Virar (east) when Ravindra Khandekar went there to withdraw money using his debit card on Tuesday evening After encountering glitches in the withdrawal, the crook posing as a customer-in queue, stepped in and under the pretext of offering help, he apparently kept observing the PIN that the victim was entering in the system after punching the card.
However, when the machine failed to respond, the crook hurriedly left the booth, but not before replacing the card with a similar-looking one. With a few minutes the crook used the card and its memorized PIN to withdraw Rs. 33,000 via four ATM transactions.
Shocked at receiving alerts informing about the debit transactions from his account, Khandekar confirmed the fraudulent withdrawals with his bank and reported the matter to the police on Wednesday. A FIR under section 420 of the IPC has been registered against the unidentified crook, said the police while appealing citizens not to entertain strangers while carrying out transactions at ATM booths.
Further investigations were underway.