Sophisticated pickpockets working debit scam in Winnipeg, say police

Winnipeg police are on the lookout for the suspects behind a sophisticated pickpocket scam.

Police said they received several reports of stolen debit cards between July 29 and Aug. 7, and that the circumstances around each theft suggest a ‘well-planned scam’.

One suspect, police said, would wait in line behind an unsuspecting shopper at a store, and watch over the victim’s shoulder to make a note of their PIN when they paid at the cashier with a debit card.

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A second suspect would then distract the victim in the parking lot once they left the store– often by pointing out money on the ground or a possible flat tire — while the victim’s entire wallet was being pickpocketed.

Because the suspects would have both the card and the PIN, they were able to cause ‘significant financial losses’, said police.

Police are urging Winnipeggers to always cover their PIN when entering the number, and to be aware of their surroundings after using a debit card.

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