A credit card scam alert has been sounded by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF)
The Major Crimes Unit of the RSLPF has disclosed that criminals are now in possession of devices that can read the magnetic strip of any card as well as small cameras which they can affix to ATM or other such machines.
According to the police, the way the credit card scam works is that cameras can record the input of PIN numbers while the reader can collect personal information that is stored on the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card.
Acting Corporal Calious Dantes explained that having collected the information, a criminal can then transfer the information to another card in the comfort of his home using a laptop computer and a device called a card reader/writer.
According to information obtained by the Times, the criminals are able to transfer people’s personal information to cards they have wiped clean – such as discount cards used at supermarkets and which contain a magnetic strip at the back.
The cards to which the information has been transferred can then be used at an ATM machine.
“They create a new card to steal your money,” Acting Corporal Dantes told the MBC Television programme – Police Insight, during which some of the devices were displayed.
Local banks are reported to be on high alert for the crooks.
Police here have reported that 429 cases of fraud and forgeries were reported in the North of the Island in 2013, 208 of which were solved.
The number of reports dropped to 98 in 2014, of which 53 were solved.
Last year there were 400 reports of which 120 were solved.
The Police have disclosed that younger persons are now becoming involved in cases of fraud.
Acting Corporal Dantes told Police Insight on Monday night that the youngest fraudster encountered to date was aged between fourteen and fifteen years old.