Standard Chartered, the UK-based bank, has urged its banking customers in India to change their ATM PIN numbers in light of increasing cases of ATM fraud.
“For the security of your account, we would recommend that you visit our ATMs or call our helpline number and change your Debit Card PIN,” the bank said in text messages sent to its customers in India.
India has been seeing a spate of ‘hacking’ and unauthorized withdrawals of money from ATMs across the country.
Last month, Kerala Police arrested a Romanian national in Mumbai for ATM fraud in Thiruvananthapuram and were on the lookout for his three alleged accomplices, all Romanians.
The arrested person was identified as Gabriel Marian (27), who was seen in the video footage recovered from the ATM kiosk at Vellayambalam area of the city.
The accused allegedly placed electronic equipment at an SBI kiosk a month ago that enabled them to get card details of people who withdrew money from the ATM. Using the stolen data, they withdrew cash from Mumbai.
For a few lakh rupees, it is possible to buy machines that make magnetic ATM cards using any data that you give. The data can be extracted from the ATM cards of existing users by having the cards swiped in a special ‘sniffer’ machine.
Using this data, a new card is made, which works just as well as the original.
The criminals also hacked into the camera of the ATM and observed the PIN numbers of the customers.
Similarly, several banks have reported hacking cases in recent weeks. There was speculation that some data was leaked from the National Payments Corporation of India, which promptly denied the rumors.
It is not clear whether other banks have also followed the lead of Standard Chartered and urged their users to change their ATM PIN.