Barrie Police warn about distraction theft
File image (AP/Gene J. Puskar)
Kim Phillips, CTV Barrie
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:57PM EDT
Barrie Police are issuing a warning about a recent distraction scam in our community.
Police say on Saturday, two victims both went to the same grocery store and had their banking/credit cards stolen in less than 20 minutes.
Police say the culprits typically target seniors and casually watch as they enter their PINs while making a purchase.
In both cases, police say the scammer dropped a $20 bill and told the victim it was theirs. The suspect then approached the victim outside the store and said the money actually belonged to someone else, causing the victim to open their wallet. Police say the suspect distracted the victim and removed their bank card from their wallet and withdrew cash before the victim even knew what had happened.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and stores, banks and grocery stores are assisting in the case.
According to police, the scammer(s) took out more than $5,000 from the two stolen cards.
They say the suspect descriptions vary, but other areas across the region have reported similar crimes.
Police say to shield your bank or credit card when entering your PIN to protect yourself.