Police warning over PIN number thefts

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SHOPPERS are being warned to be extra vigilant when typing in PIN numbers following two incidents in East Renfrewshire last week.

Two elderly people were targeted at supermarket self checkouts last Thursday (October 10) in what inspector Alan Dickson, of Giffnock police station, believes to be an organised scam.

He told The Extra: “The thieves have been hanging around the self-service area and taking note of people putting their PIN numbers in.

“They have then followed the person outside, engaged them in conversation and distracted them to the extent that they have been able to steal their card. In one instance, they asked a woman for change of a £2 coin.

“There’s no violence involved — it’s a distraction technique, and we need people to be aware of this sinister practice.”

Both incidents resulted in money being stolen from the card — in one case, a five-figure sum.

Inspector Dickson added that both had taken place around lunchtime, when the shop was busy — but that shoppers should be alert at all times.

He said: “Be aware when using your PIN, especially at self service areas, where staff members are often distracted and may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

“Keep your card secure at all times, and if you spot someone acting suspiciously, please report it to store staff or contact the police.”

Giffnock CID are investigating both incidents, and anyone with information is asked to contact them on 532 5700 or non-emergency number 101.