What's on your tray: Hotel waiter in Pune clones debit cards of customers; withdraws Rs 1 lakh from ATMs
Pune: Do you hand over your debit card to waiters at any hotel for paying the bills? If yes, beware of the debit card cloning fraud. A waiter from Madhuban Bar and Restaurant at Landewadi chowk in Bhosari allegedly cloned debit cards of three customers and has withdrawn nearly Rs 1 lakh from an ATM at Patna in Bihar.
Umesh Devidar Anvekar (35), a resident of Shree Nagar in Pimple Gurav, has filed a complaint in this regard at Bhosari police station. Based on his complaint, police have registered FIR against the unidentified waiter working at the hotel. The incident happened between December 4 to 15, 2020 but came to light after Anvekar filed the complaint on Saturday (January 2, 2021).
Cloning, also known as skimming, refers to the copying of credit or debit card information using software or an electronic device, in order to gain unauthorized access to your account. Another variation of this fraud is carried out using a scanning device at a point of sale. The employee uses the cloning device to scan your card before swiping it at the till. It can easily go unnoticed by you, especially if the billing counter is not in your line of sight.
The suspect has been booked under section 379 (punishment for theft) of the Indian Penal Code and section 43 (penalty and compensation for damage to computer, computer system, etc; unauthorised access), 66 (punishment for computer related offences), 66C (punishment for identity theft) and 66D (punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act
According to police, Anvekar and his friend had gone to Madhuban hotel for dinner when the suspect pretending to be a waiter in the hotel approached them. Anvekar and his friend handed over their debit card to the suspect for paying the bill. The suspect took the debit card and cloned it.
The suspect then used the stolen data of the debit card and made another card. By using the clone card, the suspect withdrew money from an ATM at Patna in Bihar. The complaint states that along with Anvekar, two other persons have also lost money to fraudulent transactions of similar pattern.
Anvekar lost Rs 50 thousand, while another victim Balasaheb Ganpatrao Najan has lost Rs 25 thousand and Praveen Bapu Sonar has lost Rs 19500 in this debit card cloning fraud so far. Police Inspector (Crime) Kadam from Bhosari police station is investigating the case.