In just a matter of a few days, Regina police have dealt with dozens of fraudulent transactions where people report having their debit cards compromised and money stolen from their bank accounts.
Since Sunday, police say they’ve dealt with 50 such transactions where somebody withdraws cash from ATMs in New York City.
After Art Topp shared his story with News Talk Radio Tuesday, now Pamela King is sharing an eerily similar story.
I had almost no money in my account and I thought, that’s strange I just got paid
“I had almost no money in my account and I thought, that’s strange I just got paid,” she said. “I opened my account and I see these three ATM withdrawals that said TD Bank New York, and I thought that was awfully strange because a) I’ve never been to New York and b) I don’t use TD Bank.”
Police say between March and April of this year, a number of different businesses in Regina were targeted, but that number is believed to be higher since financial institutions may not report all incidents to police. They say the illegal withdrawals are likely the result of thieves using card skimming equipment. A suspect will substitute a business’ PIN pad terminal with their own altered pad, able to record card numbers and PIN numbers as they are keyed into the device.
King’s convinced the fraud took place somewhere in Regina, since she hasn’t been out of the country in 12 years, admitting she sticks pretty close to the city. Like Topp, King guesses she might have been compromised after swiping her card when she was unable to use her card’s chip.
Roughly $700 was taken from her account between Sunday and Monday.
I’ve always been very careful with my money. I panicked. I feel violated when someone’s intruding into your personal life
“I’ve always been very careful with my money. I panicked. I feel violated when someone’s intruding into your personal life,” King shared.
Most of the fraudulent cash withdrawals are between $30 and $800 police stated.
In King’s case, Affinity Credit Union reimbursed her what she had lost only hours after first contacting the credit union. King also filed reports with Regina police and RCMP.
Police again urge you to avoid using the swipe option on PIN pad machines if possible. They also remind you that if using your chip, you shouldn’t need to slide it into the machine any more than just a few inches. The same advice applies to credit cards.
As well, the public is encouraged to check financial statements often and carefully.