Beware of card thieves

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 April 2011

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SHOPPERS in Clevedon should be on their guard for thieves using distraction methods to steal bank cards.

Since January, at least three incidents have occurred when people have had hundreds-of-pounds taken from their bank accounts after thieves were able to make a note of their PIN number and steal their card.

Police are now urging people to cover the key pad when entering their PIN number, whether at a cash point or in a shop.

On Friday two males speaking in a foreign accent approached a woman while in Morrisons car park in Great Western Road and asked for change of a £2 pound coin.

While she searched in her purse, the offenders managed to take her bank card.

The card was used straight away at a nearby cash point to withdraw about £250. The next day a similar amount was taken from her account at a cash point in Birmingham.

Earlier this year, there have been at least two other incidents reported to police where thieves have used a distraction to steal someone’s bank card.

On another occasion in Morrisons car park, two females approached a man as he was loading shopping into the boot of his car.

They claimed he had dropped a £10 note on the floor and he took out his wallet to check. Another female then approached him and asked for change for the trolleys.

While all this was happening, one of the group was able to steal his bank card and subsequently withdrew cash from his account.

Another incident happened in Tesco, while a woman was packing shopping into bags at the till.

It is believed her card was taken from the card-reading machine without her noticing and that the same person would have seen what PIN number she inputted when paying.

A police spokesman said: “No matter where you are, put your hand over the machine so no one can see the numbers you are pressing.

“On all three of these occasions the offenders have got the pin numbers.

“They have either been written and left in the wallet or they have been seen by someone stood behind the victim when they have been typing in their pin.”

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