This New Scam Could Be The Future Of Pickpocketing

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People with contactless cards are being warned to keep an eye out for thieves bumping into them.

A worrying photo emerged yesterday when Paul Jarvis uploaded a picture to Facebook of a man on a train wandering near people while holding a Point of Sale (PoS) device – the same type of contactless scanner used in shops, The Telegraph reports.

In theory, all a thief with one of these machines would need to do is enter a price lower than £30, then discreetly tap the device against a person’s pocket and they would be unknowingly robbed.

dfc671c356c4d91b1033ded0ce4f2da0Facebook/ Paul Jarvis

Almost all new bank and credit cards in the UK now have contactless chips, which allow users to make small transactions (up to a limit of £30) without entering their PIN.

The UK Cards Association, however, has said the scam hasn’t been widely reported in the UK, and that stringent security checks on merchant accounts are kept, making it difficult for criminals to get a hold of the devices.

The association also points out that the image doesn’t seem to show a British train and the same picture has been seen in reports about similar crimes in Russia.

However, there are online forums out there selling customised PoS terminals, so the idea of theft being carried out this way isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Probably best to keep an eye out…