In the rush to withdraw cash on Monday morning, only one man noticed something suspicious at an ATM in Kandivali (west). He spotted in the nick of time a card cloning device and saved his account details from getting compromised. “My card went in further than normal into the slot and the thing began to shake,” said Anvesh Parab (32), who was at an IndusInd Bank ATM outside the Kandivali (west) railway station at 9 am.
“Before keying in my PIN, I noticed the colour of the card slot did not match its housing,” he said. Now very suspicious, Parab tried pulling the slot and, to his surprise, it came out completely in his hand. Cyber criminals clone debit and credit cards by installing cloning devices on top of card slots in ATM machines. A tiny hidden camera also captures the PIN.
“A woman had just exited… but she must not have noticed the cloning device in her hurry. There are two machines inside but only one had cash,” Parab said. He then called the Mumbai Police control room and the landline number of the cyber police station, but found both engaged. There was no security guard at the ATM, either. He then personally asked people coming there not to use the ATM before finally leaving, getting late for a meeting. “I left the device behind the ATM machine,” said Parab, a sales co-ordinator at a private firm.
In the evening, Parab tweeted pictures of the device to the police and the bank. Minutes later, both responded, seeking to speak to him for details. By the time he visited the ATM again, the device was gone. “The surprising thing was, there was no guard there. I wanted to first alert the guard but there was no one,” he said.
Anil Singh, a watchman at Om Sai Plaza, said IndusInd Bank’s ATM was the only one among three located on the ground floor of the commercial building that does not have a guard. Mukund Pawar, senior inspector, Kandivali police station, said a team visited the ATM after Parab’s tweet. “We did not find the device. But we have asked the bank for CCTV footage. Once we get more information, we will decide how to proceed further,” he said.
A bank spokesperson said, “We thank the vigilant citizen for alerting us. Our initial investigations revealed no data breach or financial loss. However, our team is going through other mandatory checks to rule out further irregularities in the entire network.”