‘In the interest of saving a mere few seconds (entering) a four-digit code into a machine, you can now wave your card at a machine, which captures the information and charges the account, and off you go several seconds richer,’ he said.
Senior Sergeant Spencer said the Pay Pass cards had limits set on the amount that could be used, but the default limit set by banks could range from $30 to $100.
‘Crooks can be very resourceful and take note of such things to use to their advantage,’ he said.
‘What we are seeing is thieves are stealing these cards and knowing the ease with which they can make a purchase under $100, buying things, usually liquor, and waving the card and off they go.
‘The cashier doesn’t even check if the card is for a man or woman.’
Sgt Spencer said new technology was sometimes a tool to commit crime, such as identity theft using fake passports or driver’s licences, and sometimes the target, such as when people were robbed for phones and laptops.
He said this new credit and debit card trend, however, made technology both the tool and the target. ‘People argue that technology creates new crimes ” realistically, technology just creates new ways of committing existing crimes,’ he said.
‘My advice is to contact your bank and disable this feature to save yourself the loss.’