Sadly, I’m writing this post because a recent card scam using the “Distraction Technique” has just happened to a friend at a busy Chandler’s Ford supermarket. And I’ve been asked to put up a warning item so hopefully nobody else is affected by this kind of nasty theft.
Cards were taken from my friend’s purse when they were deliberately distracted. Those cards were then used to buy over £1,500 worth of shopping.
My friend believes they were distracted as they put their bags into their car.
Someone asked them for written directions (conveniently supplying pen and paper!) to the local maternity hospitals. It is believed the cards were removed at this point.
What happened to my friend indicates this scam is being carried out by someone who knows Chandler’s Ford well enough to shop here and is almost certainly watching for potential targets (the idea would be to discover PIN numbers first before actually taking the cards so plenty of observation is going on here).
Fortunately in this case, the cards have been stopped and my friend is covered by insurance.
Hopefully this post can also act as a reminder to all of us to always be careful when entering PIN numbers into card machines in shops and ATMs. You never know who might be watching.
This Youtube clip below gives some idea of how distraction techniques can work. As they used to say in the Amercian police show, Hill Street Blues, we do have to “be careful out there”.
I must admit I’d never anticipated writing this kind of post for Chandler’s Ford Today but my friend and I would be glad if it does stop anyone else falling victim to this kind of crime.
Read Metropolitan Police’s advice on credit and debit card fraud. Financial website This is Money also tells you how to make sure you don’t become one of the 2,500 cashpoint fraud victims.
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