A Mandi Bahauddin resident claimed on Saturday to have mysteriously lost a quarter of a million rupees from his bank account in what he alleged was an ATM hacking incident.
The account holder told media that he had deposited Rs0.5 million in his account with a private bank at 11 in the morning on Thursday. In the evening, he said, he began receiving automated notifications on his mobile phone about debit transactions from his account even though his ATM card was in his possession. By the time he reached his bank, Rs252,000 had already been withdrawn from his account, the victim claimed, adding that he was told by the bank’s helpline that the funds were withdrawn from an ATM of a branch located at Pico Road, Lahore.
The victim said that he had been defrauded by hackers, and asked the chief minister to help recover his lost funds.
Incidents of ATM hacking and skimming were on the rise in Pakistan in 2018, with at least six Chinese men, said to be members of an organised gang, apprehended in Karachi in January on charges of their involvement in the crime.
Skimmers are physical devices that are installed over the actual ATM card slots that capture data from cards’ magnetic strips, which are later copied onto replica cards that are used to conduct fraudulent transactions.