Hyderabad: The Cyberabad Cybercrime police on Tuesday arrested a three-member gang for cheating people by skimming debit cards at renowned restaurants, bars and pubs, and, cloning them to withdraw money. Police recovered Rs 10 lakh, a skimmer, a cloning machine, cloned cards and other material from them.

The arrested persons were identified as Praful Kumar Nayak (25), Hemanth Kumar Nayak (28), and, Sujit Kumar Nayak (31), all residents of Madhapur and natives of Ganjam district in Odisha. Praful Kumar Nayak, the prime suspect was working in restaurants in Hyderabad, where he learnt cloning of cards from his co-workers who hail from Odisha.

Initially Praful Kumar bought a skimmer and card reader online and started skimming card data of customers while working at pubs, restaurants since December 2017 and then cloned cards. He was eventually joined by Hemanth and Sujith Kumar skimming cards and withdrawing money from the ATMs.

“Initially, Praful Kumar used to collect the customer card data using skimmer, while working at pubs, restaurants in Hyderabad. He used the clone cards and withdrew amounts from the magnetic strip based ATMs in Hyderabad,” said Rohini Priyadarshini, DCP (Crimes), Cyberabad. 

As Praful suspected that he may be nabbed by police, he took the assistance of Hemanth and Sujith. He never worked in a restaurant or a pub for more than 10 days. So far, he had fraudulently collected card data of more than 150 customers while working at different restaurants and pubs, he said.

Officials said the gang had cloned debit cards of more than 30 Indian and foreign banks and made fraudulent transactions. Following on a complaint from the manager of a private bank in Gachibowli earlier this month, the cybercrime police booked a case and started investigation.

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