The Bank of Maldives (BML) has urged its customers to keep their personal identification numbers to themselves after thieves withdrew large sums from multiple ATMs in the capital Male’.
”It is very common in the Maldives to share the pin number of their cards, for example when paying a bill at a restaurant the customer might handover the card and pin number,” a BML spokesman told Minivan News.
‘We appeal all of our customers to stop sharing their pin number with anyone.”
Police have started searching for a group of expats who are alleged to have taken money from many different BML accounts without the knowledge of the owners.
The police uploaded video footage of the two expats while they were in the act of withdrawing money from one of the BML ATM machines.
Police said that they used different machines at different locations in Male’ to withdraw, stealing large amounts of money on 17 and 18 October.
Police appealed the public to share any information regarding the two expats and asked anyone with information to contact the police hotline (3322111) or the police economic crime department (9790048). If on an island, police asked individuals to inform the island council or island police station.
Protection was assured to anyone able to provide information on the case.
A spokesman from BML today told Minivan News that these type of cases occur most of the time because customers share their pin number with people.
He noted that a lot of times women will share their PIN number with close friends and have them withdraw money or use the card, and that most of the time customers have neither mobile alerts nor use internet banking to track their transactions.
The spokesperson stated that the details of the case could not be revealed while police are investigating the case, but did note that the bank would reimburse account holders if it was found to be at fault for any lost money.