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ATM pair strike at midnight

FOUR people lost more than 35,000 yuan (US$5,115) after their bank card numbers and passwords were copied when they used a local ATM.

Suspects had installed a card reader on the ATM to record numbers and a small camera captured passwords, police said.

The police were investigating two men who installed something on the ATM before the victims used it. They were recorded by a surveillance camera.

All four victims used an ATM in Xuhui District in the evening on January 17, and just hours later, money was withdrawn or transferred from ATMs on Siping Road, Hongkou District, and Dalian Road near Yangpu District.

Two of the victims said they had used an ATM on Damuqiao Road near Xietu Road.

Liu, a Hubei Province native, said she found about 30,000 yuan had gone from her account after midnight on January 18 when she checked her balance on January 31.

"They withdrew about 10,000 yuan of cash on Dalian Road, and another 10,000 yuan on Siping Road. The two withdrawals happened within half an hour," investigators told her. Another 10,000 yuan was transferred to the account of a victim named Chen, and was withdrawn along with Chen's 2,000 yuan, she said. An elderly local surnamed Wen lost about 3,000 yuan.

It was still unclear how much the fourth victim lost.

Officials of the Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission said they hadn't received any reports from local banks.

"The only way for ATM users to avoid such schemes is to cover their hand when typing in their password," said a police spokesman. "Otherwise it's hard to prevent. The bank card number is copied when you insert the card in the ATM."

He said the case was still under investigation.

Similar cases have been reported recently in the cities of Hangzhou, Wenzhou and Ningbo in neighboring Zhejiang Province.

"The suspects installed card reader devices on the electronic entrance doors and users' bank card numbers were recorded when they entered the rooms.

"Many banks canceled the door-entry devices since the cases were reported." the spokesman said.


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