A debit card/machine fraud is making its way through Nanaimo and local merchants are advised to be vigilant.
Nanaimo RCMP are advising local merchants to be vigilant after several stores in the past two weeks have had fraudulent transactions carried out on their debit machines, netting thieves several thousand dollars. A male and female are involved and they are targeting small businesses that have only one or two clerks working.
Once in the store, one suspect approaches the clerk and begins to make a small purchase. He uses a debit card and once it is inserted into the portable debit machine, the second suspect attempts to distract the clerk. This allows the first suspect to enter the stores generic merchant authorization code, which he knows. The original purchase is then canceled and he quickly rips off the printed copy. With the clerk still distracted he refunds between $100 and $1000 dollars into his debit account. Once complete, the original item is purchased and he leaves the store.
Investigators have obtained descriptions of the two suspects and the car being used. The first suspect is a white male, approximately 6 ft 1 and in his early 30's. He has light brown hair, a goatee and has some tattoos on his upper arms. He has been accompanied by a female who distracts the clerk. She is also white, about 5 ft 5 with long blonde hair. She has been well dressed and on one occasion was wearing a black dress and carried a red neon purse. The vehicle they were seen driving is a newer model dark colored Lincoln Navigator.
“Merchants must change their merchant authorization code to a unique password known only to them, otherwise they too could fall prey to this fraud. We are aware that this fraud has been carried out in at least one other jurisdiction on the Island and we are liaising with the officers involved to further our investigations, “said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
Anyone with information on these frauds or persons involved is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) orwww.nanaimocrimestoppers.com