Hackers, allegedly originating from India, managed to hijack some debit cards of Habib Bank Limited through ATM Skimming and were able to steal several hundred thousand rupees, Daily Pakistan reported today.
According to reports, that we have verified independently, at least 18 HBL customers became victim of debit card fraud as money was withdrawn from their accounts without their knowledge.
All these customers were maintaining account with HBL through its Walton Road Lahore branch.
Victims told Daily Pakistan that they received SMS notifications when funds were withdrawn from their account, however, their debit cards were in their possession and they were at their homes.
These customers, when approached their branch to get clarification on the matter, were told,”Your account had been hacked by Indian cyber criminals” and were given claim form to fill to reclaim their funds.
ATM skimming is a type of fraud which occurs when an ATM is compromised by a skimming device, a card reader which can be disguised to look like a part of the machine.
The card reader saves the users’ card number and pin code, which is then replicated into a counterfeit copy for theft.
Walton Road Lahore Branch of HBL communicated the victim account holders that their funds will get reversed in 15 to 20 days.
Quoting the senior operations manager of HBL Walton Road Branch, Daily times said that bank is probing the case from every angle. It said that ATM cards of such hacked accounts have been blocked.
For those who don’t know, ATM skimming is a type of fraud which occurs when an ATM is compromised by a skimming device, a card reader which can be disguised to look like a part of the machine. The card reader saves the users’ card number and pin code, which is then replicated into a counterfeit copy for theft.
A similar debit card hacking incident happened with Standard Chartered Bank customers earlier this year and they lost hundreds of thousands rupees through a similarly functioning scheme.
Banks around the world ensure that their ATM machines are clean and aren’t skimmed. However, it appears that Pakistani banks have failed to safeguard their ATM machines and users and as a result, debit/credit data is stolen from ATM machines installed across the country.