ATM Fraud : A real life story of a reader and her fight

This is the real life story of my blog reader, who gone through this horrible ATM fraud. We both thought to share this fraud on the blog, so that it warns others also.

Mrs.Priyanka our blog reader, contacted me immediately when this ATM fraud actually happened. She shared all details through mail. Let me share the same with you all.

“I had visited PNB ATM SEC 48-A ( which comes under the branch of PNB industrial area Chandigarh bo3247) on 30th may 2016 at 6.30 PM for cash withdrawal. I Inserted my ATM  card for the cash withdrawal but after entering the pin I was unable to press cash withdrawal key.

Suddenly a person came from behind and pressed account balance button which shows my balance. Account balance receipt came out from ATM at 6:34 PM. (See the below slip, which showing the balance of Rs.230211.32).

ATM Fraud

I told the person not to interfere and again I inserted my card and typed pin to try for the cash withdrawal. But again cash withdrawal key was not working. I pressed 3-4 times suddenly ATM screen became blank. I waited for 3-4 minutes but still ATM screen remained blank so I pressed cancel button 3-4 times and left ATM. 

Meanwhile, another person entered the ATM. I told him ATM not working as it is showing a blank screen. Some other boys standing nearby the ATM were trying to use their ATM card.

Before leaving the ATM, I had seen ATM screen showing Insert ATM card. After that, I went to the SBI ATM  in the same market Sec 48-A and withdraw Rs. 2000/- at 6:35 PM. But I noticed balance showing Rs.213211.31 (See the below slip of SBI ATM).

ATM Receipt

I checked my mobile for Withdrawal SMS. I shocked to see that I had received two SMS for cash withdrawal of Rs. 15000/- at 18:37:26 and cash withdrawal of 2000/- at 18:37:51

I again I visited PNB ATM and checked my balance. It was showing account balance :- 213211.31 at 18:42.  (See the below ATM slip of PNB Bank).

PNB ATM Receipt

I called PNB helpline and informed them they registered my complaint. I was told to wait for 7 working days for confirmation whether the amount has really been withdrawn. They assured me that it is not possible that money can be withdrawn under the mentioned circumstances and it is most likely ATM error and money will be transferred back to my account.

I kept enquiring in between on the toll-free number but repeatedly I was asked to wait for 7 working days.

However, I received SMS against my complaint on 7th June 16 at 3:20 pm that it was rejected. Again I called customer care for my complaint feedback but they denied for any feedback as they did not have any feedback from backend team. Because my complaint was still open so I called again on 8th June, 2016 morning around 9:30am. Discussed with support member named Mrs.YYY. She denied for any feedback as my complaint was open. I explained her that I received SMS as my complaint was rejected. After then she put my call on hold and confirmed  that my complaint was rejected  and she transferred my call to the Manager. I talked with customer care managers Mr. XXX. He suggested me to block my card, registered a complaint of fraud . I was told to wait for 10 working days now as cybercrime will check the fraud. Mr. XXX by giving false information to block my ATM Card. 

On the same day, I visited PNB home branch Sec.26 Chandigarh and also at PNB industrial area Chandigarh branch. Discussed each and everything which happened to me. However, both branch managers suggesting me to mark a mail as fraud occurred due to malfunctioning of PNB ATM MACHINE. “

As per their instruction, she wrote a mail to PNB. She received the below response from the PNB IT Dept “It is requested to immediately lodge an FIR with nearest Police Station as it is clearly a case of fraud.  However as per our trailing mail, we have already requested for Video Footage from our vendor which will take one week for procurement.”.

Again after a day or two, she received a reply stating that video footage of that particular ATM is not available with them. The response is “For mention site, our engineer had already left the site for health purpose and confirmed that required data isn’t available in HDD. Then we had cross checked the same. But regret to say that, initially the required data wasn’t available in HDD. However we are investigating on that but unable to provide the same.”

This means they told that video footage of that particular incident is not available with Bank.

During this point of time, she contacted me. I suggested to finally knock the door of Banking Ombudsman. As per my advice, she wrote a mail to the concerned person. She received the complaint number and also the response also.

Now, the banking officials claiming that Video Footage of that particular incident is with them. They requested Mrs.Priyanka to visit the branch and see the footage. Based on that, they will initiate the process.

In the meantime, she raised the complaint with Police Station (who earlier rejected to lodge the complaint as the crime comes under cyber crime department), now ready to co-operate. Finally, PNB Officials and Banking Ombudsman requested for 2 months time to resolve the issue.

How fraudsters did such ATM Fraud ?

In my view, the fraudsters might hanged the screen and then looted the money. The best video suite to such incident is the below one.

How to avoid such ATM Frauds ?

I listed few of them in my earlier post “20 ATM Security Tips for Indians“.

  • When the screen locks or hang, inform immediately to security than taking help of an unknown person.
  • Never allow unknown persons to enter ATM while you are busy while transacting.
  • If someone come forward to help, then strictly deny and bring it to the notice of security person.
  • Try to avoid using ATM machines where there is no security.

Hope these many tips helpful for all of you. Also, let us wish Mrs.Priyanka in getting her money back soon. I really appreciated her struggle. At the same time, anger on the bank officials pathetic response. I am thanking Mrs. Priyanka who came forward and advised me to share this story on this platform. Thanks and best wishes Mrs. Priyanka.

32 Responses

  1. Hello Basu sir

    Finally I got my money back Rs 15000/-
    My sister in law works in bank she mailed my concerns to higher authority of PNB. And they checked my case n refund my money after three months but no help from police ,cybercrime , bank ombudsman.

  2. Hi Basu sir

    IG of Chd Frwd my case to SSP CHD
    SSP CHD Frwd my case to cyber cell now my case pending with cyber cell Chd. ASI CHD cyber cell informed me yesterday bank will provide footage within 15 working days after then they will take further action. ???

    Other side bank saying they have ATM insurance for this type of losses so they will try to credit the amt but it’s take time .

    Waiting for positive response

  3. This blog is a big eye opener for me. I could not imagine that such type of frauds are also possible. Measures need to be taken to replace these types of specific ATMs (as shown in video i.e. round button ATMs) but don’t know who’ll take and when?

  4. Mr. Basavaraj – Thanks for sharing such experiences with all of us. It will help us avoid same (unpleasant) experience. Also, I would like to add that many PSU Banks have poor IT infrastructure, and are far from implementing cutting-edge technology to prevent such frauds. I have often not got the mandatory SMS from even a top PSU Bank like SBI when I withdraw money from their own ATMs. But, I do make it a point to check my a/c balance on their App on my phone, or on Netbanking when I have access to a PC. My experience in such matters is far better with private sector Banks.
    Unfortunately, RBI turns a blind eye to customers’ grievances, and seems to side with Banks in dispute resolution. The less said about the Banking Ombudsman the better, as I have had very bad experience with the RBI Ombudsman despite giving all details of my interaction with a Bank which was ultimately settled after umpteen visits to the Bank Branch.
    To prevent such frauds involving ATMs, RBI should have given a sterner deadline to Banks to issue chip-based ATM Cards, which are less prone to cloning or skimming. Also, such chip-based ATM-cum-debit cards can’t be used even at shops without the PIN, unlike regular magnetic stripe ATM/Debit Cards. RBI has to be far more proactive and customer-oriented to help Banking customers have a worry-free Banking experience.

  5. Basu – Ask her to file complaint to banking ombudsman and copy RBI gov in the email complaint – also including all email communications to PNB. It should get resolved in a month max..

    1. Raghavendra-Please read above story. PNB opened eyes only when she contacted Banking Ombudsman. RBI will come into picture when Banking Ombudsman will not act properly. I think PNB will resolve issue now at the earliest as the issue became serious NOW.


    Most of the banks don’t take customer’s complaint seriously and try to shoo us off.

  7. Thanks to Bold Priyanka and Sharing the same Basavaraj.

    Many of Indian people are not aware of Ombudsman because Bank deny to escalate.

    I had a issue of Zero balance for 7+ years with HSBC bank and I went to branch but they denied to close my account then I raised my voice with Ombudsman and got it resolved in few weeks.

    Now there is a law recently launched not to charge negative balances to Savings account by Government too.

    Please share more on Ombudsman process if you have it with you.

    Basavaraj for helping people like us.


  8. Thanks Basu sir for sharing my story it will help others too.

    Friends pls take all the precautions (suggested by Basu sir ) while using ATM to avoid such fraud as bank don’t take any responsibility for such fraud and not ready to refund ur money.

    Now my complaint pending with bank ombudsman and SSP of UT. Let see what resolution they will give.

    Definitely will share further responses

    Thanks Basu sir for guiding me thanks a lot

            1. That’s scary and Thanks Basu for sharing this and Good that Priyanka has asked your suggestion. Hope you got some updates from Ombudsman and SSP (Chandigarh).

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