File photo

Abbotsford business hit for $8,200 in debit-machine fraud

Police notice hike in thefts and swaps of point-of-sale machines

Several debit-machine thefts and swaps have occurred recently at Abbotsford businesses, including one that resulted in the thief refunding himself $8,200.

Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird said investigators have recently noted a rise in these thefts, which involve the culprit entering a business, stealing a debit machine, and replacing it with a different stolen debit machine.

They then make a purchase transaction using a stolen debit/credit card, and attempt to do a refund back onto a legitimate debit card, she said.

“In many cases, businesses do not have the proper security in place to stop the transaction and block the refund,” Bird said.

Among the businesses hit have been restaurants, a spa and a dental office.

In another case, the suspect replaced a debit machine at an Abbotsford business with one that had been stolen from a Langley restaurant.

He attempted to issue himself a $400 refund, but the transaction would not go through because the debit machine had a password that was not generic.

Bird said changing the managerial code and password regularly is one thing that businesses can do to protect themselves.

She said businesses can also watch out for customers who hold the machine in their hands for an unusually long time, who seem to punch in a lot of numbers while using the machine or who use distraction techniques (one person talks to them while the other is using the machine and potentially doing a swap).

Bird said other measures that businesses can do to protect themselves include tethering the machine and not letting it out of their sight; writing down the serial number, adding a security seal on the seam and checking the integrity of the serial number at the beginning and end of each day; and not allowing the purchaser to key in the card number themselves.

She also said the name on the credit card should be verified, and, if a refund is being processed, the full card number should be confirmed.

Anyone with information about the debit-machine thefts is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department’s crime reduction unit tip line at 604-864-4744 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.

RELATED: Debit scam nets Lower Mainland thief almost $80,000

RELATED: Abbotsford Police project tackles use of stolen debit and credit cards

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

How to ‘heal your gut for good’: Free session in Abbotsford

Choices Markets hosts ‘Heal Your Digestion’ event on Wednesday, Jan. 29

TRAFFIC: Roadwork, stalled semi causing major delays on Highway 1 in Langley

Westbound commuters should try the Fraser Highway or 56th Ave

Abbotsford dance students to perform in Disneyland

Group from Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts will do set on Feb. 14

Car giveaway set for MEI on Friday

One lucky alumni member will receive a new Mazda 3

VIDEO: Chilliwack arson victim lights up rural property like a runway

Chris Thompson had enough after twice having barns torched in suspicious circumstances

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. teacher suspended for putting kid in headlock, lies about it to get next job

He has now been fired from Delta and his license temporarily suspended

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Air Canada cancels select flights to China as coronavirus spreads

Canada’s largest airline runs 33 flights a week to China

Canadians seek way out of Wuhan as coronavirus continues to spread

The Chinese government has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities

Most Read