Police say protect your PIN numbers
Calgary Police Service Photos
Two of four men have been arrested in connection with a multimillion-dollar debit fraud scheme, while two others are still on the lam.
The four men are allegedly associated with an organized crime group that has rung up millions of dollars using stolen debit card information by switching PIN pads at various retail shops since April.
“We were searching for four suspects and two were arrested in a routine traffic stop by Moose Jaw RCMP. So now we are down to two suspects and we really want to get these guys,” Acting Det. Darren Hafner told reporters.
The men can be seen in different surveillance footage clips stealing retailers’ PIN pads and replacing them with ones they have crafted, which often have gel pads and wireless technology to record and transfer the customer’s information. Later, they make an empty envelope deposit and withdraw the money.
“They do it so quick nobody notices. They distract the employees while the other person swaps the pads. It’s an open market and everybody is a target,” Hafner said.
Hafner said the other method used is the installation of tiny cameras above PIN pads so they can actually see the customer’s PIN number as it’s typed in.
“I want to stress the importance of customers covering their PIN numbers as they type them in. I barely see people do that and it is so important. In some of these cases it would have helped them,” Hafner said
If anyone recognizes the men in the pictures they are asked to call police at 266-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).