Several ATMs located in the city continue to remain unmanned despite the recent bank fraud that saw at least Rs 20 lakh worth of people’s savings being siphoned off using data obtained through illegal skimmer devices installed at such ATMS.
The ATMs of banks such as UBI in Dalhousie and UCO Bank in Bowbazar continue to remain unmanned with no surveillance whatsoever.
Sundry customers withdrawing money from the UBI ATM at the Dalhousie branch, pointed out that the kiosk remains open without the presence of any security personnel, especially after 9:30 p.m.
“In light of the recent ATM scam, withdrawing money from here at night without any security certainly makes me worried but it is the nearest ATM from my home,” said a customer of the bank.
A resident of Bowbazar said, “The UCO bank ATM remains closed most days and when it is open, it functions without any security deployment.” He further observed that sometimes a few vagrants take shelter in the ATM kiosk at night.
A resident of Lake Gardens said: “An ATM of Syndicate Bank in the Lake Gardens area continues to remain unmanned while vagrants and at times, dogs, get inside the kiosk. The ATM remains out of order every few days and at times it stops working during a transaction. But somehow my money in the account gets deducted though I was not able to withdraw any cash from there. I have informed the bank regarding the issue several times, but in vain.”
Mr Amlesh Singh, a security guard, said that the private security firm that employs him instructs him to stand guard outside the ATMs. He said: “On the contrary, I think it is better if I stay inside because otherwise how am I going to know what is going on inside the kiosk, if say, some illegal activities are happening. Secondly, if a person comes into the ATM who has no knowledge to operate it and asks another person, I immediately intervene. In five years of my service, about 50 per cent of people have asked for my help.”
A resident of Sinthimore, Mr Soumundu Chatterjee, said: “I think that having security guards is essential not only because of the recent fraud that happened. What if I am robbed while withdrawing money in the middle of the night? However, unmanned ATMs should remain closed as they pose a threat to the customers.”