Whistler business owners are being warned to keep an eye out for debit and credit card skimming devices being used to access American tourists’ money.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said the detachment was contacted by an investigation section from the United States last week regarding the potential fraud suspects that could be in the Whistler area as well as the Lower Mainland.
He said it is suspected that they are placing skimming devices on ATM machines copying information from cards that do not have a chip, which tend to be American ones.
They are also suspected of using pinhole cameras in the same location to record PIN numbers.
“It was determined a device may have been used in a business in the Village,” LeClair said, adding it would have been at the end of August.
Officers went to the business and checked the ATM, finding no card skimming device and informed the business owner and ATM distributor.
The Chamber of Commerce issued a warning to its members last week about the skimming devices.
It recommended the following prevention tips: regularly inspect the ATM, look for signs of tampering and take time to observe the PIN pad and card swipe areas to ensure nothing is out of the ordinary.
Cheque fraud reported
RCMP are also advising residents about an incident of traveller’s cheque fraud that was reported on Sept. 11 in Whistler.
LeClair said the complainant was advertising to provide guitar lessons on Craigslist and was hired. However, he was paid with traveller’s cheques in an amount exceeding the fee and asked to return the extra money.
LeClair said the complainant contacted the provider of the cheques and was informed they were fraudulent.
“It is just a warning,” he said. “If someone over pays for something and asks for a refund that is a red flag somebody is trying to defraud you.”
Bike theft stopped
Police are investigating a Squamish man for a probation violation after he was questioned in connection with an attempted bike theft.
LeClair said officers were called out to the 2200 block of Sapporo Drive just after 10 p.m.
The complainant reported a male tried to pull a bike off the balcony and was scared away when the lights were turned on.
LeClair said officers found a person in the area who matched the description, however had no reason to hold him.
Afterwards, he said officers discovered the 39-year-old male was on probation with conditions not to possess a weapon and at the time was carrying a knife.
“We are now pursuing that investigation,” he said.
If you have any information regarding this or any other crimes, please contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS (8477).