McDonald's targeted by debit fraud

McDonald’s Canada is co-operating with Winnipeg police as they investigate allegations of debit card fraud targeting at least one of the fast-food chain’s local outlets and ranging as far as Quebec, The news Thursday came one day after Winnipeg police said hundreds of people were victimized after debit card machines and PIN pads had been compromised by thieves at a few local restaurants.

http://www.cbc.ca
October 22, 2009

McDonald's targeted by debit fraud

Mcdonaldsskimmingcanada.jpg

At least one McDonald's restaurant in Winnipeg has been targeted by debit card fraudsters. The restaurant said it is co-operating with police as they investigate. (CBC)

McDonald’s Canada is co-operating with Winnipeg police as they investigate allegations of debit card fraud targeting at least one of the fast-food chain’s local outlets and ranging as far as Quebec.

The news Thursday came one day after Winnipeg police said hundreds of people were victimized after debit card machines and PIN pads had been compromised by thieves at a few local restaurants.

Police would not comment on specific names or locations of the restaurants but said their investigation so far has revealed fewer than five establishments are involved.

Police said the culprits were “skimming” information from the devices and using it to commit fraud in Eastern Canada.

Card-skimming involves copying electronic data from debit cards as well as personal access codes, usually using equipment such as card-reading devices and hidden cameras.

The stolen information is then encoded on counterfeit cards, which are used to withdraw funds from victim's bank accounts.
Rare occurrences

In an email, McDonald’s spokesman Ron Christianson said debit card fraud seldom occurs at the company's restaurants.

“This is a very rare incident for McDonald’s,” Christianson said. “We are in the process of working with our suppliers to even further protect ourselves and our customers against criminal activity.”

On Thursday, CBC News interviewed three people who had their debit cards cancelled earlier this week after crooks in Quebec tried making withdrawals from those people's bank accounts.

Each said they had used their debit cards at a McDonald’s restaurant in Winnipeg last week.

Kim Wilson said she lost just under $2,300 in the skimming scam and she’s furious with the culprits.

“I was very upset. I mean they took all the money, almost everything in my account. And you’ve got bills coming up. It was very disturbing,” Wilson said.

Dave Dunlop told CBC News that thieves used an empty envelope to make a fake deposit of $600 into his account at a banking machine before making a withdrawal.

“You feel violated, it’s not right,” said another victim, Doug Moyse. He said he’s giving up using debit altogether.

Financial institutions are refunding the losses, the victims said.

Winnipeg police said the investigation is in its early stage and they expect it could take months before it wraps up. No arrests have been made.

Commercial crime investigators with the RCMP estimate up to $400 million is stolen by debit card fraud in Canada each year.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2009/10/22/man-mcdonalds-debit.html


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