Beware of ATM pin watchers

Last updated 05:00 29/08/2014

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Southern police are investigating shoulder-surfing offenders who eye up people's pin numbers at supermarket checkouts and then steal their eftpos cards.

The thieves were mainly targeting elderly people, Southern Police deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Dave Scott said.

But anyone who lived south of Christchurch needed to be vigilant, he said.

Police issued a warning yesterday for shoppers to make sure people standing close to them were not watching them as they entered their pin codes at checkouts or automated teller machines (ATMs).

Police were investigating several cases of "shoulder surfers" in the lower South Island, Scott said.

Once offenders had a victim's pin code they subsequently followed victims so they could steal their eftpos card.

"In recent cases offenders have worked in pairs, with one offender distracting the victim at the front door of their address, while a second offender enters the dwelling via the back door and steals the eftpos card without the victim's knowledge," Scott said.

The message from police was for people to be wary of what was happening around them when using their eftpos cards, Scott said.

"Ensure no-one is watching when they input the pin code. Be safe, have a look who is around you, cover or shield the key pad with your other hand when you input the pin code."

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- The Timaru Herald


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