Police warn of parking lot ‘dropped money scam’

Kingston Police have released the above photos of a suspect who used a debit card obtained in a parking lot scam, which has recently been occurring in Kingston.

Police have received multiple calls about the scam, which involved either a male and female or a lone male approaching a victim as they walk to their vehicle. The suspect gets the attention of the victim while holding a bill (usually a $20 bill), which they claim to have found near the victim’s vehicle. When the victim pulls out their wallet or purse to check if they’ve lost any money, the suspect steals their bank card. The suspect then leaves and immediately uses the stolen card to make withdrawals, according to a press release from Kingston Police.

The suspect uses distraction techniques, and often the victim doesn’t realize their card has been stolen. Sometimes the suspect will ‘accidentally’ bump the victim’s wallet out of their hand, and, on one occasion, the suspect simply grabbed the victim’s wallet and stole the card.

Police say an accomplice inside the store may be obtaining the victim’s PIN by getting in line behind the victim. Loses are typically around $1,000, but one victim reported the theft of $4,500 due to the scam.

The scam and theft have occurred in the Walmart parking lot three times, police said, however, it is suspected other areas may be targeted as well. The above photos are from a bank where one of the stolen debit cards was used. While the male in the photos is a suspect for the use of a stolen card, it is unknown whether or not he was involved in the actual theft.

Anyone with information, is asked to please contact Detective Brad Hughes at 613-549-4660 ext. 6286 or via email at [email protected]. Tips can also be provided anonymously by calling the Kingston Police general number (613-549-4660 ext. 0) and asking to be anonymous, or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Kingston Police are asking the public to share this information with friends and family to help prevent further victimization, and remind the public to conceal PINs when entering the number.

“Do not keep your PIN number written down with or near your bank card,” police said.

“Be sure to use caution and keep your distance if you are suddenly approached by strangers in parking lot.”

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