The Federal Investigation Agency with the help of Bank Al-Habib Limited has managed to catch a gang of Chinese fraudsters involved in ATM cards skimming in Pakistan.

These Chinese nationals are accused of capturing the data of ATM cards and their PIN codes, thereafter transmitting it to different foreign countries for execution of International Cash withdrawal transactions from the ATM.

Fraudsters were using card skimmers, which are physical devices that are installed over the actual ATM card slots that read the data of the magnetic strips. They’ve also installed PIN Hole camera panels with ATM machines in several banks to get the secret card PINs as well.

The team Bank Al-Habib along with the collaboration of FIA successfully apprehended the ringleader and the key member of this Chinese gang namely Zhong Xianming and Zhong Xianquan respectively, when, they were attempting to remove their apparatus from ATM Machine at Bank Al-Habib, Chartered Accountant Avenue Branch, Karachi.

FIR has been registered under section 3, 4, 13, 14 of PECA 2016 r/w 420 & 109 PPC by FIA and the fraudsters were sent to Karachi jail for further investigation and legal proceedings.

The FIA also retrieved different equipment and devices from the gang containing data of cards from different banks, which was used earlier or would have been used to draw off the money.

How to protect yourself against card skimmers?

The fraudsters are evolving the techniques to fool customers, so you should be extra careful while using an ATM machine. Usually fraudsters rig the machines that are at isolated places, having no CCTV cameras in the vicinity.

You should carefully inspect the machines before inserting the card and always try to hide your hand while entering PIN code. Furthermore, newer machines doesn’t have a bulky card slot, so if you see one, try shaking it a bit to check if it is actually part of machine or not.

Also make sure that the keypad is a part of machine as well because sometimes the fraudsters install a fake keypad to capture your pin over the original one.