Distraction Thefts on the Increase: Crime Alert

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Distraction Thefts on the Increase: Crime Alert
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Chantal Corner

Chantal Corner

Sergeant Chantal Corner is the Media Relations Officer for the Halton Regional Police Department. She grew up in Oakville and graduated from Loyola. She still resides in Oakville.

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The Halton Regional Police would like to remind shoppers to be extra vigilant after a notable increase in the number of reported “Distraction Thefts.”

These incidents typically involve two or more individuals engaging the unsuspecting victim into conversation at an opportune moment, usually asking for directions. While one speaks to the victim, the other will steal the victim’s wallet or more specifically, their bank and credit cards from within. Once obtained, the suspects will carry on their way with the victim not noticing the theft until well afterwards.

These individuals target their victims well before the actual theft as they shop and pay for their purchases within the store. They will make attempts to closely watch the victim as they enter in their bank or credit card PIN (Personal Identification Number) while paying.

With card and PIN in hand, the suspects will immediately withdrawal significant funds from the victim’s bank account or conduct cash advances against their credit cards.

The Halton Police are recommending several ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim:

• Always shield the PIN pad when entering your PIN while making purchases

• Never write your PIN on your cards or keep it written in your wallet or purse

• Using different PINs for different cards increases security

• Most importantly, never leave your wallet or purse unattended at any time

Anyone with information on this crime can contact Halton Police Fraud Investigators at 905-825-4747 ext. 8739 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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