How would you feel if you visit your nearest ATM location to withdraw your money, insert your ATM card into the machine, but it greets you with the message, “Zero Balance!”? It was what exactly happening to the residents of Islamabad for a past few months.
No one had the answer to what was going on to the bank accounts of citizens in Islamabad. The money was being withdrawn from their accounts without their knowledge.
And then, finally, on Monday, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested a man who allegedly used to steal the money from bank accounts, using different tricks on the ATM machines.
According to the media reports, the suspect was arrested and produced before the court.
For the purpose of interrogation, the FIA Sub-Inspector Fazal Mabood asked for a 10-day physical remand of the suspect. But, the court allowed a four-day physical remand.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the suspect, Muhammad Ashraf used to install different kinds of illegal spying instruments on the cash machines. These interference devices recorded the PIN and other data of the ATM cards when a person inserts the card into the machine.
Using the data (PIN code, and all the other sensitive information) recorded in the spying machines, the suspect used to produce a fake version of the original ATM cards. The alleged cybercriminal then used these fake cards to withdraw the money from the cash machines.
The FIA officials have recovered the counterfeit cards, scamming gadgets, and other documents from the suspect. The court has ordered the FIA authorities to produce the suspect before the court again on July 22.
Earlier ATM Scams
These kind of frauds are not new. Earlier in May, FIA arrested a resident of Layyah from Lahore, who used to steal the money from the ATMs using spy cameras, illegal devices, and other methods. This kind of crimes does not only happen in Pakistan but also in the most advanced countries like Japan, where $12 million were stolen in just 2 hours from different ATMs across the country.
If you want to secure your ATM card, try these methods we have discussed here.