A 'Con' Artist at work at my local Supermarket

  Chas49 21:31 11 Sep 2010

I thought that I could recognise a 'con' when I heard or saw it - I was wrong! An attempt was made today to relieve me of my debit card when I was leaving a well known supermarket.

As I was waiting for the person ahead of me to finish paying for her items I had noticed that a man and a young girl were behind me. As the person ahead moved off and I moved up, the man squeezed past and stationed himself at the exit of that till, the girl stayed behind with her one item - nothing suspicious in that - perhaps he wanted her to get used to paying her own bills. I paid my bill by debit card and, as you know a password is needed and tapped in with the little machine. I never gave a thought to the man as I did so but as I turned around he pointed to a five pound note on the floor between us and told me that it had dropped out of my wallet. I thanked him and continued on my way out to 'park' the trolley. As I collected my bags he came up to me and said that the 'fiver' belonged to his daughter, that she had dropped it. I opened my wallet to get the 'fiver' and ,as I did so, he kept repeating that it was his daughters' money but, as he was doing this his right hand (which was holding a folded piece of paper) kept tapping my hand and I realised that he was trying to tear the debit card out of the wallet using the folded paper as a cover. Naturally I told him to b****r off, that he was a liar and a would be thief. He obviously realised that he had been sussed and turned to go - however, by this time I had realised that it was he who had dropped the 'fiver' - I gave it to the daughter saying 'give this to your dad - it belongs to him'.

So, if you are 'getting on a bit' beware that this can so easily happen. I thought, as I said, it couldn't happen to me - but it did - or rather it was attempted. It's very likely that the man had made me a 'mark' and that was why he squeezed past at the till and undoubtedly he watched me tap in my code, dropped the fiver and insisted that it had fallen from my wallet, followed me out to the car park, waited until my hands were full and then approached me - he was very convincing to start with but his clumsy attempts to hold a piece of folded paper and attempt to slide the card out of its slot with the fingers below the paper saved the day. Take heed of this report and take care. It was all too clear that he was targeting the elderly but worse still he was dragging his young daughter into his criminal ways.

One thing for sure I shall cover the machine with my hand whilst tapping in the code. Once caught - twice shy!!

  octal 21:42 11 Sep 2010

It's surprising the number of people who don't cover their hand when they are tapping in their PIN number. That includes my wife, she was getting a prescription in Boots a few months ago and she paid with her debit card, while we were leaving the shop I whispered her PIN number to her, she was quite shocked how easy it was for me just watching form a distance how I could work out her PIN number.

She is a bit more careful now.

  Chas49 23:05 11 Sep 2010

Octal and Fourm Member:

O: I can imagine how shocked she was - I suppose that we just don't think that someone would want to do such a thing but when its demonstarted to us that they can and do then that is an illusion shattered. It also makes you feel quite foolish and I suppose that I was lucky that he wasn't more adept at 'swiping' my card.

FM: The PIN should be OK as, fortunately, he didn't get the card.

Your'e correct of course, he moved to a position where he could watch - leaving his daughter to pay for the item bought. When he was behind me he would see me remove the card from my wallet and, seing the opportunity he shifted to a position where, if I was careless (and I was!) he could see the keys I pressed. Lesson learned by myself and, hopefully, a timely reminder for others.

  lotvic 23:11 11 Sep 2010

Thanks for the warning, shall certainly be on my guard against this sort of con/theft.
Good job you sussed it in time.

  [email protected] 00:13 12 Sep 2010

that people will stoop to such low measures. As has been said already, it's disgraceful that he's also involving his daughter in it. What a way to teach a young child what's right and wrong!

  zzzz999 06:33 12 Sep 2010

Surely you would have helped yourself to some beer money before telling her :-)

  Chas49 11:05 12 Sep 2010

Fourm Member: Point taken on 'should' - I will take your advice and change it.

I will also relate my experiece to the bank and seek their advice on whether the knowledge of a PIN number is sufficient to access my account - just to be on the safe side - thanks for your concern, appreciated.

Rick'scafe/Octal: I could just see the picture when she found out - ouch!!! 8-)

[email protected]: 'involving his daughter' - that is what angered me most. Hopefully, as she grows up, she will realise that his way of life is not the best.

  KremmenUK 07:20 13 Sep 2010

If anyone is 'shoulder surfing' when I enter my pin I stand and look at them and tell them I'm doing nothing till they back off.

  john 52 07:56 13 Sep 2010

I am always surprised with the position of many chip and pin machines in supermarkets to be honest they are quite often in open view to other customers .
The chip and pin was introduced to protect the banks not its customers

  Chas49 11:05 13 Sep 2010

KremmenUK: Good for you!

john 52: They have to put the machines where the customer can comfortably reach, so, if the banks insist on a Pin Code being entered (whether it be for their benefit or ours) the store doesn't really have any alternative, do they?

It was up to me to protect myself by ensuring that I cannot be overlooked when putting that pin code in - as you see - I blame myself for that part as I had obviously become complacent when so doing - rest assured that will not happen again. I was very angry when the incident occured but now I look on it as a 'wake up' call!

  spuds 13:23 13 Sep 2010

Did you report the incident to the stores security, they should have the record on cctv, and they should pass this onto the police for further investigation.

Distraction is becoming a daily event, and more so with unsuspecting older folk.

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