WARANGAL: A Hyderabadi, who had been duping aged persons at ATMs for over a decade and bought himself a house and gold jewellery over the years, was on Sunday arrested here by police with Rs 4.20 lakh on him along with a mobile phone worth Rs 40,000. Police also recovered 27 ATM cards from his possession.
Md Yousuf Hussain, a 38-year-old resident of Shaikpet in Hyderabad, would offer to assist the aged and infirm at ATMs in drawing cash. He would then pocket their debit cards and give them a replacement fake card and disappear from the scene, Warangal city police commissioner G Sudheer Babu told reporters.
Hussain, married twice and who has four children, went to Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s. After returning to Hyderabad, he worked as a plumber for a few years. Sudheer Babu said Hussain was, however, not satisfied with the money he was making and hit upon the idea of robbing the senior citizens at ATMs. Over the years, he managed to buy a house worth nearly Rs 20 lakh in Shaikpet. Some time ago, he also deposited gold jewellery he purchased using stolen debit cards with a major gold mortgage company .
Hussain reserved his criminal acts for two days a week -Friday and Saturday -and spread his activity across several districts. His list of victims include people from Kamareddy, Nalgonda, Medak, Zaheerabad, Bhongir, Suryapet, Siddipet, Nizamabad and Warangal. Hussain chose to operate only on Fridays and Saturdays because even if someone noticed that they have been robbed of their card, any complaint registered by banks would not be processed till Monday because of the weekend giving him ample time to leave the city or town and return to Hyderabad, Sudheer Babu said. Apparently, the recent dri ve towards digital pay ments came as a boost to his activities as he began buying gold jewellery with the stolen debit cards. In some cases, he also paid a commission to owners of some shops where he would use a card swipe machine and get cash back on the stolen cards. “He would ask the elderly for PIN numbers as he offered to help them out.
He would then tell them that the ATM was not working and ‘return’ a fake card and disappear from the scene and then go to another ATM and withdraw cash with the stolen card,” the officer said. Hussain was produced in court here and remanded to custody.