How To Steal a PIN
Chicago Sun Times
FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS
Two women police say were accomplices in a scam were arrested early Wednesday for allegedly stealing cash using a debit card PIN number in the self-checkout lines of a Near North Side Jewel grocery.
Belmont Area detectives issued a community alert Wednesday after a man met two women outside a River North bar last month and later discovered his bank debit card was missing and $8,600 was withdrawn from his account.
Neither of the women in custody, both 23, are believed to have been involved in the other incident.
The accomplices were spotted using an allegedly stolen credit card in the self-check out lanes and, using its PIN number, swiped it several times, each time asking $100 cash back for a small purchase like gum or soda.
In the alert, Belmont Area detectives said there have been numerous similar incidents downtown and on the Near North Side, where men have been approached by women "offering a ride or a good time."
The women convince the victims to withdraw cash from an ATM, and as he does so, they watch him enter his PIN. The women later take his credit/debit card without his knowledge and use it at self-checkout lanes at the Jewel groceries at 1224 S. Wabash Ave., 1210 N. Clark St. and Ohio and State.
In last month's incident, after the women got the man's card, they purchased a low-priced item at the South Wabash Jewel then depleted the man's bank account by $8,600 by withdrawing cash in $100 increments, the alert said. The women were seen by a witness driving away in a white Lincoln Continental.
Police advise men to be alert to suspicious people extending invitations to "go for a ride" or who offer a "good time." Additionally, police advise against carrying an excessive amount of cash and/or credit cards.
“It’s the perfect crime,’’ according to a police authority, who said the crimes are hard to prosecute for at least two reasons.
The victims often don’t want to come forward because they don’t want their names used, especially if they are married and the amounts are sometimes not comparatively very significant for the bank to aggressively seek action.