ATM card cloning: Around 60 cases in two months

In the last two months, the UT Police has registered nearly 60 cases of ATM card cloning resulting in a loss of thousands of rupees to the account holders. Surprisingly, in the majority of cases, the cloning is done after the complainant has used the debit/credit card to make a payment at a petrol pump.

"One day I received an SMS about a transaction of Rs 18,000 from my card. That too at malls in Delhi and Ahmedabad. I immediately contacted the police. It was a shock to me as I was in Chandigarh and my card was bring used in other cities. Though I have made a complaint to the police, the bank is not cooperating and the case is yet to be solved," said Jasraj Suri, a resident of Sector 36, whose card was cloned.

Inspector General of Police R P Upadhyaya said, "Lately, there has been an increase in the number of the cases being received by the UT Police complaining of ATM card cloning. As a part of an awareness programme by the UT Police, we have circulated an SMS."

The SMS being circulated by the Chandigarh Police reads: "While using ATM/credit/debit card at petrol pump, shopping malls, hotel/restaurants, keep watch on your card to avoid cloning... Chandigarh Police."

However, a bank manager maintains "in genuine cases of cloning, it becomes difficult to detect the cases but the card can be blocked". "In many cases, it so happens that one of the family members of the complainant has used the card and placed it back. The person who loses the money makes a complaint of cloning," the manager adds.

Parminder Singh, a resident of Kharar, had lost Rs 18,000 from his account in the State Bank of India on January 29. He came to know about the cloning when a transaction was made from his account from Bikaner Bank in Sector 30 soon after which he received an SMS about the transaction while his card was in his possession.

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