Con men swindle lakhs by withdrawing cash without touching bank balance
Con men swindle lakhs by withdrawing cash without touching bank balanceReuters

Indians are no novices to ATM frauds. In fact, with the mushrooming of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in every road, economic frauds carried out through them are getting more sophisticated and trendy by the day. It is during days like these that a group of 15 con-men found an ingeniously effortless modus operandi to swindle cash.

15 employees- some present and some former- of a leading cash management and ATM operations in India swindled at least ₹66.58 lakh in a period of four months, right under the nose of security guards and CCTV cameras. Times of India has reported that the con-men employed the "exit shutter manipulation fraud", which, albeit simple in theory, requires meticulous planning and execution.

The fraudster boldly enters the kiosk and inserts his or her card and enters the pin and required amount. Once these are authenticated by the machine, cash is in the process of getting dispensed.

To execute the actual fraud, the account holder simply has to place their hand against the exit shutter. Experiencing a malfunction, the ATM would reverse the transaction and credit back the entire amount requested by the banker.

However, as soon as the exit shutter is released, the ATM would dispense the previously requested amount, as the process was manually stopped. This way, the physical cash is in the hands of the fraudster, whereas the account balance remains untouched.

When Corporation Bank, whose ATMs were targeted, noticed the heavy losses, an internal investigation was conducted, which led to the revelation of a large-scale fraud. They further contacted the CMS Info Systems Private Limited, which is responsible for refilling their ATMs with cash.

The deputy manager of CMS, in Cooke Town, Shankar Pawar, has filed a complaint with the East division police accusing the 15 employees of the firm, who make up the fraudster gang, of being involved in the large-scale fraud that targeted Corporation Bank ATMs across Bengaluru between mid-April and early September this year.

While the police are yet to arrest the accused, their case had been handed over to the Central Crime Branch's Fraud and Misappropriation Squad.