The Greater Noida police in India have busted a gang allegedly run by two foreign nationals involved in cloning people’s ATMs and then fraudulently withdrawing money, Hindustantimes.com reports.
The suspects, Omon Benson, 30-year-old, from Nigeria and Jonson Usaro, from Kenya, allegedly fixed two cloning devices in ATMs and skimmed over 1,000 card details and passwords, and withdrew a total of ₹50 lakh from various accounts in three months, said the police.
Baljeet Singh, the inspector of the Gautam Budh Nagar cyber cell, said the police had received multiple complaints of cyber fraud in recent months.
The cases were registered in police stations in Ecotech III, Badarpur, Sector Beta II, Sector 24, Sector 58, areas, etc.
On 4 October, Arun Kumar Singh, a resident of Kasna, filed a complaint at the Sector Beta II police station alleging that someone fraudulently withdrew ₹10,000 from his bank account.
“I received an SMS about the withdrawal. I had not used my debit card or cheque to withdraw money,” he said. “A case was registered against unknown persons under Section 66 of the IT Act.”
More complaints were registered, revealing that money was fraudulently withdrawn without the account holder’s knowledge/consent. The inspector said the police team scanned CCTV footage from multiple ATM kiosks and identified two suspects who were seen tampering with the machine.
Ankur Aggarwal, the deputy commissioner of police, Noida Central, said, “After rewriting the cards which the suspects used to approach unmanned ATM kiosks to withdraw money up to ₹50,000 depending upon the cards’ withdrawal limits and available balance in the bank account.
“They used to spend some of the money and keep some for their expenses. The police investigation shows the rest of the money was sent by them to their native country Nigeria, with the help of Nigerian hawala traders operating in the NCR region,” he said.
“The cyber cell on Wednesday arrested two foreign nationals from their rented accommodation in Sector Omicron in Greater Noida. We recovered 96 rewritable debit cards, two card cloning modules, two laptops, seven mobile phones, two pinhole cameras, one data card, two pen drives, one memory card, and ₹10,000,” Singh said.
“During interrogation, the suspects revealed that they used to place cloning modules in the swipe machines of ATMs and also secretly fixed the pinhole camera to capture the keyboard.
“Once a customer swiped the card, his/her card details would be cloned. The suspects later removed these devices from ATMs and made rewritable cards for each customer’s stolen data, and then withdrew money illegally,” he said.
The inspector said that the suspects had cheated about ₹50 lakh from over 1,000 people in the last six months. “The suspects were produced in court and sent to judicial custody,” he said.