July 24, 2024

In the past fortnight, the Marion Police Department received multiple complaints of fraudulent practices specifically targeting elderly residents.

Police noted that these instances took place at large retail store self-checkout stations.

Authorities have since issued photographs of two potential suspects on Friday.

*Image courtesy of Marion Police Department*

*Image courtesy of Marion Police Department*

According to initial reports, one or two men, believed to be of Middle Eastern or Arabic descent, were witnessed observing people key in their PIN as they made payments. The unsuspecting victims were then distracted with claims of a $20 note dropped on the floor. In the ensuing confusion, the criminals would steal the debit/credit card from the checkout and exit swiftly.

In one case, a suspect followed a customer, attempting to further manipulate them by pretending to pick up money from the ground,” stated the press release from Marion Police.

They also confirmed the suspects were proficient in both English and Russian.

To prevent further occurrences of such scams, the police department advised residents to remain vigilant, shield their pin during checkout, and reach out to authorities if they encounter a similar situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can we stay safe while using self-checkout stations?

Residents are advised to stay vigilant when using self-checkout stations. Always cover the pin pad when entering your pin and do not get distracted. Be wary of anyone standing too close or attempting to divert your attention.

What should we do if we are a victim of such scams?

Your first line of action should be to inform the police. Next, contact your bank or card issuer to block your card and prevent unauthorized transactions. Keep all your receipts as they might be necessary for investigations.

How can we receive timely updates on scams?

Residents can download the free WSIL News and Weather apps for real-time alerts and updates. The Marion Police Department also provide updates and advisories on their social media platforms.