Three held for cloning debit cards at hotels, cheating customers

Three men were arrested in suburban Mumbai for using a debit card skimming machine at various bars, restaurants and cheating a number of victims to the tune of lakhs of rupees. Police said that the duo had skimmed the cards at a local bar, wherein they used to withdraw money only at Bihar to evade arrest. They were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

Last year in December, a case of cheating was registered at Malad police station, wherein a man had complained of his card being cloned and ₹1 lakh being withdrawn from a Bihar-based ATM. Acting on this information, police began the probe and enquired with the complainant of his debit card activity before falling prey to the cheating. A preliminary probe revealed that the complainant had used his card at a local bar in Borivali (E), along with a few petrol pump stations.

Based on this information, police kept a close vigil on these locations and had deployed a few officials. During this investigation, policemen in civil dress caught a man red-handed while using a skimmer machine. The accused, identified as Dharmendra Kumar Satyendra Singh, 24, a resident of Daulat Nagar in Borivali (E) revealed during interrogation that his accomplice is using a similar skimming machine at Sursangeet Bar, following which a team was sent there and 27-year-old Dhruv Narayan alias Kumar Mahesh Singh was arrested.

The accused duo then revealed during a sustained interrogation that they were provided the machine by Manish Kumar, who too was arrested from Goregaon (W). Police seized his laptop and blank cards which were used to clone original debit cards. Revealing the modus operandi, police said that the accused persons used these skimming devices at various bars and restaurants, which were then swapped and cloned while noting down PIN. To evade arrest, the accused withdrew the money from Bihar ATM.

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