Kollam: The customers of State Bank of India in Kollam district seem to be prone to frequent ATM frauds. Nearly two dozen SBI customers lost their money in the past week and most of it was withdrawn from ATMs in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. The bank management has asked the victims to wait for another month for refund before initiating legal proceedings.
At least 20 cases of ATM fraud were registered with Kottarakkara Rural SP during the past week alone. A housewife of Kalayapuram lost Rs 80,000 from her family pension account in the Kottarakkara SBI branch. A sum of Rs 10,000 each was withdrawn in eight transactions from an ATM in Patna railway station.
The incident was noticed on April 30 following which a petition was forwarded to the Rural SP. Even after the ATM card was blocked, the account statement revealed that there were attempts to withdraw the money the next night. The bank authorities have not, however, given the customer any assurance to refund the money.
In another incident, Suresh of Thevalakkara, a driver with Pathanapuram KSRTC depot, lost Rs 17,000 on May 2. He has an account with SBI Karunagappally. It was found that the money was withdrawn from Jharkhand. Another customer with the same branch lost his money which was withdrawn from Bhopal.
Jayakumar of Ayathil, a customer of SBI Kollam branch, also lost Rs 27,000 in successive transactions.
Similar incidents have been reported from Pathanapuram, Punalur, Pooyappally, Oyoor and Sasthamkotta areas.
According to the police, the money from ATM cards starting with numbers 5103 and 5596 is being looted in a similar manner without asking for OTP, account number, or even the PIN. Meanwhile, the victims have protested against the outdated security features of SBI ATMs and the laxity of authorities in refunding the lost money....