The United Commercial Bank (UCB) authorities suspect that a foreigner was involved with the gang that stole card information of their clients and withdrew large sums of money from ATM booths by creating duplicates.The bank says it informed police about its suspicion while filing a case with Banani police on Friday.The bank also submitted to police video footage captured in the closed-circuit television cameras of ATM booths which they claimed showed a man who appeared to be a foreign national.It has urged police to boost security and observations at airports as well as sea and land ports to stop that foreigner from fleeing.Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Gulshan zone Assistant Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam on Sunday told bdnews24.com that their investigation in UCB’s case has already started based on the video footage the bank has provided.Banani police OC Md Salauddin Khan said skimming devices had been planted in several UCB ATM booths in the Banani area to steal the clients’ card information.”We can’t reveal anything for the sake of investigation, but we are working to catch the frauds,” he said.The fraudulent activity came under the spotlight when different kinds of ‘freak transactions’ using ATMs of several banks in Dhaka were reported on Thursday and Friday, shocking the clients.
The incidents have reportedly cost Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) clients hundreds of thousands of taka.Bangladesh Bank investigators have already found that skimming devices were planted in six ATM booths of three banks.Head of Fraud Control and Dispute Management Mahbub Ul Islam Khan of UCB’s Branches Control and Development Division of cards had lodged the case on behalf of the bank on Friday.In it, he said a man entered a UCB ATM booth at Banani on Feb 7, telling the security guard that he was there to fix technical glitches in the machine.”He entered the booth that day at 10:42am and several other times to plant the skimming device which copies the card data from the computer of the ATM.This unknown culprit later used illegal technology to enter the ATM computer’s system and carry out transactions with the stolen data.”ATM services are offered by all the banks from 7,000 booths across the country, according to the Bangladesh Bank. All the booths have CCTV cameras.Mahbub Ul Islam Khan claimed in the complaint that the culprit’s face was caught in the booth’s CC camera.
He and the security guard would be able to identify him if they saw him again.According to the case details, the unidentified man withdrew about Tk 125,000 at different times and days including on Feb 11.Data of many clients of EBL were also stolen in the same manner from two booths of the bank in Gulshan area.Cheif Strategy Officer of Fiber@Home Sumon Ahmed Sabir, an expert on microchip security, told bdnews24.com that ATM skimming was frequent abroad.”Banks’ own employees and booth security officials are found to be involved in 90 percent of the cases. It’s not easy to plant devices such as scanners or cameras if there is efficient security at the gate.”The central bank said in a media statement on Sunday that the frauds had planted video cameras and skimming devices inside the ATM at six booths to steal card information and watch people enter their PINs on the entry pad.They then forged duplicate copies of these cards to steal the cash.The central bank has instructed all banks to install anti-skimming devices, monitor the surveillance footage, and disallow third parties from repairing the machines.It said it was also working to determine the scam-hit banks’ liability in compensating the victims of the fraud.The EBL has already said it will fully compensate those whose money has been stolen.