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Elderly being targeted for Credit Card theft

21 March 2005

Elderly being targeted for Credit Card and ATM theft.

The President of Grey Power New Zealand expressed great concern about a situation which at the moment is particularly disturbing both by the frequency of occurrence and the area of the community that is being attacked.

The elderly appear to be specifically targeted.

As a result mainly of a house burglary or other means such as straight purse theft, ATM and Credit Cards are being stolen. This is often the sole motivation for the burglary.

If offender also gets some information such as a date of birth they will attempt this as a PIN up to two times (card is taken into the ATM on the third unsuccessful attempt).

The offender is telephoning the victim and under guise of being from the Bank, asking for their PIN.

Several reasons for this are given such as "This is the Bank of xxxxx here, your Card has been stolen and it is blocking an ATM, to clear the machine we need your PIN", "This is the Bank of xxxx here, we have reason to believe your card has been stolen, can you check please (this is a shock tactic)" - then " to stop your card we will need your PIN" and so they go on.

The current one is however very disturbing in that the line is "This is the Bank of xxxx here, your card has been stolen if you do not give us your PIN money will be taken from your account". Also I guess to give extra credibility, in some cases they are claiming to be from the Banks' Fraud Department.

We have been a number of instances in the past weeks, all in the greater suburban Auckland area and ask all those who have their cards stolen or lost to report same as soon as possible.


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