Due to a campaign to better secure debit/credit card readers in local businesses, the criminals are now having to bring their card readers to you.
The Kelowna area has been hit by a recent door-to-door scam in which individuals are apparently canvassing for UNICEF on behalf of Starbucks. The phony fundraisers advise people that they can only accept donations via debit or credit card and carry with them a portable debit/credit card machine.
Police believe the machine to be capable of capturing the victim’s financial information, including their PIN.
Once this information is compromised, a fraudulent card is manufactured giving the fraudster the ability to make withdrawals and purchases from the unsuspecting victim’s account.
Apparently, victims have been provided with a realistic looking receipt and some ready brew Starbucks coffee as a thank you.
The suspects have even been reported to be wearing a Starbucks uniform or UNICEF badge.
There are many ways to donate safely and securely, either online or at an approved fundraising event. If someone approaches you asking for money, consider the following:
- S-Safe. If you give in, would you be worse off for having done it?
- C-Credible. Is the person trying to convince you that they are credible without being verified?
- A-Aggressive. Is the scammer using an aggressive tactic, or language, that requires an immediate or imperative response?
- M-Motive. Is their motive to deprive you of money or assets (banking information), typically with a promise of greater reward?
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then don’t fall for it. If it’s a phone call, simply hang up. If a letter, throw it away. If in person, just tell them you’re not interested.
It’s that simple.