Thursday, January 21, 2010

ATM frauds escalated

Forget about the gigantic fraud at Century by its owners and management which consumed our energy in the past few months. It is time to take care your own wallet from ATM skimmers, capers, etc. State bank BNI reported that at least 19 customers have claimed a total loss of Rp200 million from two ATM machines in Denpasar, Bali alone.
Yesterday, the central bank, Bank Indonesia, admitted they have received reports about ATM frauds from six major banks: Mandiri, BCA, BNI, BRI, Permata, and BII. One of the banks experienced 236 ATM frauds which cost Rp4.1 billion. Central bank suspected international crime syndicate behind the frauds.
BCA had earlier reported indications of PIN theft done through peeping by unauthorized parties while customers were doing transactions at BTA ATMs in Kuta, Bali few weeks ago. This week, at least 10 BCA customers reported similar frauds in Kuta, Bali. Police suspected Russian crime network behind the ATM frauds.
Later on Thursday, BCA's vice president director Jahja Setiaatmadja, told that about 200 depositors hit by ATM frauds with total loss of Rp4-5 billion. BCA has repaid most of them, "because there are evidences of skimming."
One of the victims saw Rp75 million disappeared from his account at BCA with one Rp5 million transfer, 6 for Rp10 million each, and five for Rp2 million each. The next day, he lost another Rp70 million.
Indonesian police claimed they have arrested at least six members of a crime organization led by a Russian living in Toronto, Canada.
Police also seized 70 SIM Card, tens of saving account book, and ATM cards used in the phone banking fraud. Police predicted 3,000 people have become victims of banking frauds with total funds embezzled of around Rp300 billion.
Some of the criminals equipped with guns and took physical money from ATM, so the bank is the victim, not the depositors. Last June, Depok police in West Java arrested 11 ATM thieves, eight of them are military guys. They embezzled Rp111 million from BNI's ATM in Limo, Depok. It is easier to take down guys like this. But money transfer and cyber transfers are the most dangerous ones.
You're lucky if the bank recover your losses. But there are so many people out there have been forced to swallow bitter pill.

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