Chennai: A series of ATM thefts using a unique method, without physically tampering the machine has come to the fore in Chennai.
The modus operandi of the criminals has been to target the withdrawal-cum deposit machines that are installed in some State Bank of India branches. It is notable that theft via this method does not raise an alarm in an ATM, unlike the cases where the machine is physically damaged or tampered with.
While performing a withdrawal transaction, the criminals block a sensor on the machine. This is a sensor meant to detect whether the cash has been collected or not. In about 20 seconds, when the cash is not collected the machine would take the cash back in.
In this case, when the sensor is blocked, the machine assumes that the cash has not been withdrawn and takes the cash back in. Hence, the money goes into the hands of the criminals, but the same does not reflect in the bank’s system or the concerned account.
Over Rs 10 lakhs have reportedly been fraudulently withdrawn from such machines. The authorities suspect that the culprits are from other states and operated in Chennai for a few days before moving out.
Two special teams have been formed to nab the culprits. Meanwhile, SBI is understood to have temporarily suspended the withdrawal of cash from the involved ATM cum deposit machines. Senior SBI officials have also met the Chennai Police Commissioner to discuss the further course of action.