Chennai: Chennai has witnessed a series of ATM thefts using a unique method without physically tampering with the machines.
The criminal’s modus operandi has been to target the withdrawal-cum deposit machines that are installed in some State Bank of India branches. It is important to note that this method of theft does not raise an alarm on an ATM, unlike the cases where the machine is physically damaged or tampered with.
While withdrawing money from the machine, the criminals block the machine’s sensor. The sensor is intended to detect whether the cash has been collected or not. If the cash is not collected in about 20 seconds, the machine will take the cash back in. In this case, the machine assumes the cash has not been withdrawn and takes the cash back in. As a result, the money goes into the hands of the criminals, but it does not reflect in the bank’s system or the account concerned.
It is reported that over Rs. 10 lakhs have been fraudulently withdrawn from such machines. Police suspect the culprits are from other states and operated in Chennai for a few days before moving out.
Two special teams have been formed to catch the culprits. Meanwhile, SBI has temporarily suspended cash withdrawals from the affected ATM cum deposit machines. Senior SBI officials have also met the Chennai Police Commissioner to review the further course of action.