Saskatoon police warn about distraction scam targeting seniors

Saskatoon police are warning about a scam in which fraudsters us a social method of distraction to steal debit cards from seniors.

Police say it usually involves two to four people who will target seniors at big box stores or businesses with large parking lots.

“As the victim pays for their purchase, the fraudsters view their PIN entry as they wait behind them in line. When the victim makes their way back to their vehicle, the fraudsters approach them, informing the victim that they have dropped money or a card from their wallet,” police said in a news release.

Police say once the victim opens their wallet to check, the fraudsters use a variety of methods to distract the victim, such as bombarding them with questions or concerns. Often, another accomplice will show up to the scene.

“They aim to create a distracting/confusing situation. During this ordeal, the fraudsters are able to remove the target credit/debit card from the unknowing victim’s wallet,” police say.

The fraudsters will quickly purchase gift cards from stores and make cash withdrawals from banks. Police say in some cases, the purchases will be made by three or four different people until the card is shut down.

Police say the suspects usually travel from city to city, typically remaining in the same place for only a short period of time.

Police say this type of scam is popular in the summer when the weather is nice.

Anyone who has become a victim of fraud is asked to call police.