Crime trend warning to seniors: be vigilant and cautious when using your bank card

North Vancouver, Public Alert

2022-03-04 11:20 PST

North Vancouver RCMP are warning seniors in the community to be on the alert when using banking machines.

"We've become aware that a crime trend targeting seniors has resurfaced in recent weeks in the Lower Mainland," said Sergeant Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. "Although we haven't received any recent reports in North Vancouver, we're warning our senior community to use an extra measure of caution, and to be vigilant when using their bank cards at ATM's and businesses."

The Distraction Technique

- suspect(s) follow a victim after observing them obtain cash from a bank, ATM, or currency exchange, or after they have made a point-of-sale purchase
- once at the victim's vehicle, suspect(s) slash their car tire, or scatter thumb tacks around the tire, as a distraction
- while the victim's attention is diverted, suspect(s) steal the victim's purse, wallet, or cash
- the suspect(s) often appear non-threatening, act helpful, and may even be with a small child or a baby

The trend isn't new, having last appeared between the summer of 2019 and spring of 2020. However, a few new recent cases have police concerned for seniors' safety.

How To Protect Yourself

- don’t let strangers into your personal space or let them touch or hug you
- don't leave your wallet or purse in your vehicle, even for a moment
- remain vigilant at all times – even when simply going for a walk
- if you feel like you are being targeted by a thief for a distraction theft, yell or make a lot of noise to attract attention and call 9-1-1
- if you have been the victim of a distraction theft, call 911 immediately, because if you wait, the chances of finding the suspects decrease significantly

How To Help Protect Senior Friends And Loved Ones

- share this information with senior friends and family, and discuss their personal safety
- provide advice contained in the RCMP Seniors' Guidebook To Safety And Security (link to download)
- be watchful and vigilant of seniors' safety while in the community, and call 9-1-1 if you suspect a senior is being targeted

Click here to download the RCMP Seniors' Guidebook To Safety And Security

Released by

Sgt. Peter DeVries

Media Relations Officer
North Vancouver RCMP
147 East 14th St, North Van., BC, V7L 2N4
Office: 604-969-7561
Cell: 604-363-5584
Fax: 604-969-7587

Website: (English only)

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