Over 30 people, mostly from Kolkata's Jadavpur area, have lodged complaints that a huge amount of money was withdrawn during the past three days from their accounts by fraudsters, police said on Monday.
Majority of the complaints came from people who had used ATMs of private and nationalised banks around Sukanta Setu at Jadavpur in the southern part of Kolkata.
The police suspect that those behind the crime probably used automated teller machines (ATMs) in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida, though the debit cards were in the possession of the original owners, a senior police officer said.
"As per the complaints, several lakhs of rupees were withdrawn from ATMs using some dubious method. These seem to be a matter of ATM skimming. We are analysing the complaints. Fraudsters seem to have used some old data of customers which they had gathered earlier," he said.
Nine complaints were lodged at Jadavpur Police Station on Saturday, a few were received on Sunday while the total number reached 32 on Monday.
The victims were mostly salary account holders.
Bank employee Shyamal Karmakar claimed that he had received messages regarding withdrawal of Rs 10,000 from his account thrice on Saturday though he had not used the card.
Barun Halder alleged that his wife has lost several thousands of rupees in transactions which were not done by anyone of their family.
"We have not shared details of our account or our debit cards with anyone. We never at any point of time shared any OTP (one time password). Despite that, we have lost our money," Halder said.
The police officer said the customers have lodged complaints with their respective banks.
Last month, West Bengal had arrested two Turkish and two Bangladeshi nationals for allegedly stealing a few crores of rupees by skimming ATM cards of thousands of bank account holders across the country.
The alert was first sounded in Tripura, where around Rs 1.19 crore was reported to have been duped from ATMs between November 15 and 17.
In August, city police had arrested two Romanians from Indore in Madhya Pradesh in connection with an alleged ATM fraud case.
The Romanians were allegedly members of a gang involved in stealing data from ATM cards of customers by using secret cameras and skimmers at cash dispensing machines.
Using the stolen data, the gang members would prepare clones of ATM cards and used them to fraudulently withdraw money from bank accounts of customers, police sources said.