ATM skimming fraud: FIA recovers cards, equipment from prime suspect

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ATM skimming fraud: FIA recovers cards, equipment from prime suspect

KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency made headway in the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) skimming scam on Thursday as it recovered hundreds of cards and other material from the prime suspect.

According to FIA officials, the suspect was taken into custody two days ago from Islamabad. 

It recently emerged that hundreds of citizens in Pakistan lost millions of rupees over a couple of weeks after they fell prey to an ATM skimming fraud.

The officials discovered equipment used in stealing consumers’ data and are running forensic tests on the equipment recovered.

The investigation was launched when more than 500 consumers of banks across Pakistan complained to the authority regarding the scandal. The FIA is probing the matter under the Cyber Crimes Act.

The FIA intensified the probe, taking help from similar incidents in the past. The official said that if it is needed then international contacts can be established to aid the investigation.

Earlier, the FIA said skimmers withdrew money using data from 579 ATM cards. They accessed the accounts by placing skimming devices on different ATMs.

On Dec 6, CCTV footage emerged showing schemers installing a skimming device inside an ATM machine located in the city’s DHA area.

The video showed two suspects, reportedly a Pakistani and a Chinese, fitting the device on the ATM machine during bank hours.

The highest number of incidents of ATM skimming took place at a major shopping mall in Karachi’s Clifton area.

What is ATM skimming?

ATM skimming can be regarded as identity theft for debit cards. Fraudsters employ different techniques to record your PIN code for accessing the hard-earned money in your account.

In some instances, the schemers stick a fake card-reader on the ATM, while in others they place a fake keypad on the machine to get your PIN code.

Another technique employed in this crime is the use of a hidden camera, which records your PIN code and conveys it to fraudsters.

A few ATM skimmers also change the entire display of the ATM.

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