Country’s largest bank State Bank of India and its subsidiary banks blocked about 6.25 lakh debit cards of their customers. In the wake of suspicious transactions at third-party ATM machines, the bank blocked the debit cards without giving prior notice to the cardholders.
However, the bank subsequently sent emails and SMSes to customers, alerting them of the card blockage and asked them to re-apply for new cards at their respective branches.
Banks reportedly blocked the cards to avoid misuse. The total number of debit cards issued by the SBI alone till July-end was 20.27 crore. Of those, 0.25% or about 5.07 lakh cards have been blocked.
Though SBI customers are not the only victims, earlier many foreign and private banks have also been victims by the ATM scam.
SBI took the precautionary measure in response to an advisory message by card network companies NPCI, MasterCard and Visa. The message warned of potential risk to some cards owing to a data breach.
As part of other precautionary measures, banks have been asking their customers change their debit card personal identification number (PIN) or password on a regular basis (every month or in 3-6 months).