Be sure to change your PIN regularly

On Sunday, December 23rd at about 11:30 or so, my husband and I went shopping and were told as we made our first purchase of the day that our daily limit had been exceeded. Since this was not possible at this point, we went over to the nearest bank machine to check our account and found our account was $1,000 short. We raced home, checked our online banking account to see that someone had made 2 $500 withdrawals earlier in the day. We called the bank and were told that my husband’s card had been flagged by the bank earlier (that week? That day? I have no idea) as his bank information was found on one of those bogus PIN pads (How did they get that info? I don’t know.) They told us to get to our branch on Christmas Eve to get a new card and to change our personal number for our bank cards. They assured us the fraud team would get in touch with us and after my husband answered a few questions, we’d get our money refunded.

Once we got to the bank, they gave us a bit more information, but not much. While I had heard about the phony debit card pads at Park Royal and around downtown, they did mention it may have been at Metrotown as other bank customers had this problem there as well. They cautioned us about using our bank card at sketchy corner stores and using other questionable looking debit card machines. They also suggested using a credit card instead of a debit card for awhile and mentioned to change our PIN for our debit card regularly. They told us that it’s possible that the people collected our information months ago, and since it’s copying the information you’re punching into the pad, it’s not about covering your number while you punch it in. At least if you change your PIN regularly, they won’t have the correct one and can’t access your account.

This is just a heads up and a friendly reminder – don’t use your bank card at sketchy shopping places like Metrotown or Park Royal. And change your PIN.

7 Comments so far

  1. Buddy (unregistered) on January 1st, 2008 @ 10:53 pm

    Metrotown sketchy? Hardly.


  2. Roger (unregistered) on January 1st, 2008 @ 11:43 pm

    Yeah, that Park Royal is pretty sketchy too. I mean, look at the neighbourhood it’s in.


  3. (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 10:09 am

    I think it is more than those places. My partner has had it happen twice to him in the past 6 months! Looks like cash will soon be the norm.


  4. Ron C (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

    Yeah, after the rash of incidents at Park Royal (and a number of account drainings to people in our office who thought it was due to frequenting the multi-national coffee house downstairs) – I don’t use debit at all.


  5. josh (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 7:12 pm

    same thing happened here.


  6. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2008 @ 10:52 am

    I’d not quit term Park Royal and Metrotown as sketchy, though obviously PIN swipping can happen anywhere. For the most part just watch your statements and you should be fine. I find that the bank has caught those sorts of things before me, and I use my debit card everywhere.


  7. DaveyK (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

    People…Brits notoriously make fun of Americans for their inability to identify sarcastic remarks.

    Please don’t tell me that this sign of stupidity has come to Canada.

    Have we become a nation of mouth-breathers?

    PS: I have purposely not identified the sarcastic comment in the post above. If you missed it, please take the time to practice spotting sarcasm.



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