The Espanola Police Service would like to alert the public of a scam involving the theft of ATM Cards.
On September 6, 2018, the Espanola Police Service received a complaint that an ATM card was stolen from an individual’s wallet, and used within minutes at local ATM Machines to defraud the complainant of $1400.00.
The complainant advised that on September 6, 2018, he used his ATM card to make a purchase at a local pharmacy, and while doing so, was cognizant of a male standing behind him in line. After making his purchase, the complainant walked to his vehicle in the parking lot, where he was approached by the male who was behind him in line, and asked whether he’d dropped $20.00, which the complainant advised that he had not. The male was insistent that the complainant check his wallet to ensure that he was not missing money, and then agreed to split the $20.00 with the complainant, quickly putting two five dollar bills into the complainant’s wallet, while at the same removing the complaint’s ATM card without his knowledge. The complainant discovered the theft of his ATM card a short time later; however, the male, who was believed to have obtained the complainant’s PIN while standing behind him at the pharmacy, had withdrawn $1400.00 from the complainant’s account during 3 separate ATM withdrawals.
The male suspect is described as:
- Middle Eastern decent;
- Heavy set;
- Speaks with an Arabic Accent; and,
- Wearing a white T-Shirt and white baseball cap.
The Espanola Police Service would like to remind the public not reveal their PIN to anyone, and when using an ATM card in public, to protect your PIN at all times by covering the keypad with your hand. If approached by someone insisting that you open your wallet to them, refuse to do so, and obtain as many physical descriptors as possible, and report the circumstances of the encounter to the police.
In the 2016 – 2018 Business Plan, the Espanola Police Service is committed to preventing property crime through crime prevention initiatives aimed at educating the public on property protection.