Stolen credit/debit machine may be first step in card skimming scam

On September 12, Red Deer RCMP received a report that a handheld, wireless point of sale machine had been stolen

  • Sep. 18, 2014 8:00 a.m.

On September 12, Red Deer RCMP received a report that a handheld, wireless point of sale machine had been stolen from the Mr. Mike’s restaurant located at 6701 50 Avenue in Red Deer.

While this is an inconvenience and cost to the restaurant, of larger concern to RCMP is the possible purpose to which the stolen machine may be put.

While the theft may have been a prank, it’s also possible that the machine was stolen in order to insert a magnetic skimmer that streams clients’ banking information to scammers. If that is the case, those who stole the point of sale machine may be looking for an opportunity to place the altered point of sale machine in another business. The stolen machine was an Ingenico 8200, serial #MONW82V306636469.

Just last month, an alert customer noticed that the wireless point of sale machine in a different Red Deer restaurant had been tampered with. That observation saved countless Red Deerians from becoming the victims of scammers; the RCMP investigation revealed scammers had surreptitiously replaced one of the business’s point of sale machine with another machine that was set up to steal victims’ banking information. In that case, the customer noticed that his card did not fit smoothly into the machine, and observed a magnetic strip that had been inserted in the card reader slot. The strip was not present on other machines.

RCMP wish to remind business owners not to let wireless point of sale (debit and credit) machines out of their sight. It only takes a moment for scammers to switch the machine for one that contains a magnetic skimmer; the skimmer then streams clients’ banking information and PINs to the scammers’ device. Businesses are advised to check their point of sale machines regularly, looking for wires, loose pieces or other evidence the machine has been tampered with. If you suspect your machine has been tampered with, please notify the RCMP immediately.

Anyone with information that may assist the police in identifying the suspect(s) responsible for this crime is asked to call Red Deer RCMP at 403.343.5575. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477 or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com.

 

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