Debit card scam targeting female shoppers
Women, especially lone shoppers of a certain age, are being targeted by thieves who’ve been operating in the region for sometime say Sûreté du Québec police. The well-coordinated heist has thieves gaining access to the victim’s personal identification number, or PIN, and then stealing her purse with the bank card in it.
MRC de Vaudreuil-soulanges SQ police say it’s happening more and more, especially in area grocery stores. The scam works when one thief watches a shopper pay for a purchase with a debit card. Pretending to talk on a cellular phone, the thief takes note of the PIN as it is punched into the store’s debit card machine. The transaction can also be recorded by the cell phone.
Once outside, another thief will distract the targeted shopper by asking a question or for directions. A third person snatches the victim’s purse, which is often left sitting unattended in the shopping cart, while she is distracted.
Police say people should always shield the PIN pad when punching numbers into a debit card machine. Anyone with information is asked to call police at their province-wide phone number at 310-4141.