Waterloo Regional Police have issued a warning about “shoulder surfing” to elderly residents in the region.
They say they have received six reports of people who have fallen victim to the practice in which a fraudster looks over the victim’s shoulder to catch their PIN number as they are using their debit or credit card.
Police say the perpetrators then use “distraction techniques” to steal the card.
In most of the incidents, the victim was making a purchase in a store when someone caught their PIN number. Upon exiting the store, they were approached by an individual who distracted them and within seconds, their personal belongings, including the card, had disappeared.
Police say it appears the thieves are targeting area residents.
Police have issued several tips for residents to help protect themselves and their belongings. They suggest to be aware of your surroundings and to shield your PIN as you complete your transaction.
If a random person approaches you in a parking lot, make sure to keep a close eye on your belongings.
Be wary if someone offers to help carry your bags or if you are approached by someone who claims you have a flat tire or dropped something on the ground.
Police say that if you have yet to report an incident, call 519-570-9777.