‘My card got stuck…’: Delhi-based journalist falls prey to ATM scam, fake ‘agent’ dupes step by step

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A journalist in Delhi has become the latest victim of ATM fraud, highlighting a common tactic employed by scammers. Apoorva Singh, using an ATM at the South Indian Bank’s Mayur Vihar Phase-1 branch, fell prey to the scheme after her debit card became stuck in the machine.

Singh, in a series of tweets, described how she noticed a phone number displayed near the ATM. Believing it to be a customer service contact, she dialed the number and spoke to someone posing as a bank agent. This “agent” then proceeded to manipulate Singh through a series of steps, ultimately compromising her card’s security.

“Experienced #ATMFraud at South Indian Bank, Mayur Vihar Phase-1 on March 31st. While attempting to use the ATM, my card got stuck. Upon noticing a number on the wall, a person outside claimed it was an agent’s contact (9643935842),” the journalist said in her tweet.

After receiving instructions from the person, Apoorva dialed the provided number and was advised by the ‘agent’ to remotely switch off the ATM and retrieve her card when it displayed an ‘out of service’ message. Despite following these steps, she couldn’t retrieve her debit card.

The ‘agent’ then promised that an engineer would resolve the issue the following day. However, Apoorva later discovered unauthorized withdrawals from her bank account.

“Upon returning to the ATM, (my) card was missing, and funds were gone,” Apoorva wrote.

Aproova was further troubled by the absence of security guards at the ATM premises and the presence of a misleading contact number supposedly belonging to an agent inside the ATM room. To her dismay, when she reached out to South Indian Bank, officials redirected her to contact her home bank, shirking their responsibility.

The Pandav Nagar Police station in Mayur Vihar has filed a formal complaint regarding the matter, and they are currently conducting further investigation into the incident.

How to Protect Yourself From Such Frauds:

Never trust displayed numbers: Banks do not have customer service numbers on ATM machines. If your card gets stuck, contact your bank directly using the verified phone number on the back of your card or their official website.

Your PIN is confidential: Never share your PIN with anyone, including those claiming to be bank representatives.

Be cautious of instructions: If someone asks you to perform unusual actions on the ATM, like pressing specific buttons, decline and contact your bank for assistance.
What to Do if Scammed:

Report the incident immediately: Contact your bank and inform them about the fraudulent activity. They can block your card and help you recover any stolen funds.

File a police complaint: Report the ATM fraud to the police to initiate an official investigation.

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