Fraudulent transactions through ATM machines and related crimes have doubled: Officer-in-charge NR3C (Islamabad/Rawalpindi)

Islamabad, 11 December 2017: More than 500 complaints have been lodged with the cyber crime wing of the Federal Investigative Agency with regards to ongoing ATM skimming fraud.

In an exclusive interview with Digital Rights Monitor, Imran Saeed Rana, the deputy director of FIA and officer-in-charge of National Response Center for Cyber Crimes Rawalpindi and Islamabad wing, also known as NR3C, Imran Saeed Rana said that crimes related to ATM transactions are on a rise.

He said that from last year, there has been an increase of 50.3%. He further said that in the year 2016, 375 million transactions were made through ATMs in Pakistan of nearly 4.3 trillion rupees, out of which 35,000 transactions were “bogus” which resulted in a loss of half a billion rupees.

Taking about the recent arrest with regards to ATM skimming, Rana shared that an accused named Saqibullah has been arrested from Rawalpindi along with a buckle of fraudulent ATM cards and equipment that has been used to steal data from ATM machines. The accused Saqib was in contact with international hackers.

Commenting on the increase in the number of ATM-related crimes and offences, he said the increase in the crime-rate is linked with the increase of ATM usage. “It’s convenient so everyone uses it, and so with the increase in the use, misuse is also on the rise”.

On the question of the liability of the banks in the context of ATM frauds, the said that its the role of the banks to educate people about the ATM frauds. He further noted that recently the state bank in partnership with FIA has conducted some workshops to educate citizens about the fraudulent transactions and ways to counter them.

He claimed that in crimes affecting individuals, such as identity theft or blackmail, FIA has a success-rate of above 95%, including the crimes where women are complainants. He also said that the ratio of ‘relief’ provided under PECA (by NR3C and FIA) is perhaps the highest as opposed to any other law in Pakistan.

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