The Churu police have arrested a 20-year-old man, son of a retired policeman, and two of his associates for ATM fraud. The trio had cheated hundreds of people in Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. The accused apparently learnt ATM hacking and cloning on YouTube.
The main accused Manish Meena, 20, was arrested on Sunday evening from Sadulshahar in Sriganganagar district while his associates Mahendra Meena, 30, and Chajuram Gurjar, 19, were arrested in Naurana town on Monday. All three are residents of Nauran town of Sikar district.
The Churu police were chasing them for last two and a half months. A special team was formed to crack the case.
ASP Rajendra Kumar Meena said that the trio had travelled to 24 cities in three states and carried out 21 cases of fraud in seven months. They withdrew Rs 12 lakh from various ATMs, he said. “20 ATM cards of various banks have been recovered from Manish, who is a BA final year student. He learned ATM hacking and cloning through videos on YouTube,” said Meena.
They stole money from four ATMs in Hanumangarh district, two ATMs in Ganganagar, Jhunjhunun and Sikar, four ATMs in Jaipur, two in Alwar, three in Punjab and two in Haryana.
The accused had a bunch of ATM cards of different banks which they used to cheat the elderly and illiterate people at ATMs.
Manish and Mahendra would go to ATMs and offer help to persons who came to withdraw money. While withdrawing money, they would exchange ATM cards. Gurjar, their driver, used to wait outside with a vehicle and they would flee. The trio spent the money on buying branded jeans, watches and staying in expensive hotels.
Station in-charge Bhagwan Sahay Meena said that on April 6 a complaint was filed by Umardin from Rajgarh town after Rs 1.89 lakh was withdrawn from his account. Police collected the bank details and traced the locations of the transactions.
During the investigation it was revealed that various such incidents took place at Kotputli, Rajgarh, Nohar, Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Sadulshahr etc and the same mobile number was linked and activated with every transaction. After this, the police zeroed in on the trio.
Recently, it was reported that more than 50 people from Jaipur became victims of ATM fraud, and lost money from their bank accounts. The police suspect the fraudulent transactions have been made with the help of a skimmer, a small electronic device stuck over a card-swiping terminal that steals card information. The information is then used to develop clones of ATM cards; the PIN (personal identification number) is noted through a stealthily fitted camera in the ATM machine.
In March, three Romanian nationals were arrested for cheating people by cloning their ATM cards. The foreigners had allegedly withdrawn over Rs 27 lakh by cloning more than 88 ATM cards.