Victora police officers are warning the public after an increase in property crime in the city is believed to be linked to credit card tap frauds.
According to VicPD, investigators believe thieves are breaking into vehicles with the intention of stealing credit cards that have a tap function. The thieves then use the cards at stores that allow tap transactions.
“With the tap function available there is no PIN number required for lower cost items,” a news release from VicPD says. “Thieves are able to obtain goods and services with a simple tap.”
VicPD says investigators believe thieves are encouraged to target vehicles, homes and offices due to the ease of tap fraud. In 2019, property crime in Victoria increased by 15 per cent with break and enters and theft from vehicles up by more than 30 per cent. Esquimalt property crime statistics in 2019 remained consistent with 2018.
To prevent being victimized, VicPD advises the public to ensure valuables such as credit cards are in personal possession and not left in vehicles or offices. VicPD says people should also consider contacting their financial institution to cancel the tap feature on cards.
If a credit card has been stolen or personal information has been compromised, VicPD says it is important to act quickly.
“Contact your financial institutions and ensure all payments that you have not authorized are stopped,” VicPD says. “Inform them of the fraud and change both passwords and access information.”
VicPD also says to contact their non-emergency number at 250-995-7654 to report the incident.
For more information on keeping safe from fraud, visit vicpd.ca/working-together/protect-yourself/#fraud.