ATMs in Thailand hacked

ATMs in Thailand hacked

BANGKOK - There have been signs of ATMs being hacked in areas near the All Seasons Place on Wireless Road in Bangkok.

As many as 40 victims have come forward to say that money has either been withdrawn or transferred from their accounts to Ukraine and Russia.

"Up to 16 withdrawals from my account worth a total of Bt100,000 (S$3,968) were made in Russia between Tuesday and Thursday [yesterday]," Mayurachat (surname withheld) said, adding that she did not understand what had happened.

"But I have already had my ATM card frozen," she said.

Victims began lodging complaints with the Lumpini Police Station, which oversees the area, on Wednesday.

"We have checked out the ATM machines in question, but found no skimmers of the sort we know about," Colonel Chaiya Kongsap, superintendent of the police station, said.

The ATM cards affected came from different banks and were hacked at different machines.

Pol Lt-Colonel Decha Promsuwan, an investigator at the Lumpini Police Station, has warned people against using ATMs in the area.

"The banks are still in the process of finding out how their customers' information was hacked," he said.

Pakamas Vidhidharm said she used a Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) ATM card to withdraw money from a Bangkok Bank ATM in the area on Monday.

"Soon after, SCB contacted me about a suspicious transaction. Someone had withdrawn Bt20,000 from my account in Kiev," she said, adding that her ATM card has been frozen since.

On Wednesday, she used a Bangkok Bank card to withdraw money from a Bank of Ayudhya ATM in the same area.

"In less than 10 minutes, Bangkok Bank contacted me saying some Bt10,000 had been transferred from my account to Kiev," Pakamas said.

Somchai Pichitsujarit of the Thai Bankers' Association said it was possible that some gangs might be using a micro camera to record users typing their pin number. He tried to allay concerns, by saying: "People can use their ATMs as usual. If any suspicious transaction is detected, banks will take immediate attention. Besides, banks are responsible for any damages caused by skimming."

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