POLICE have called for the community to not leave their valuables unattended as they crack down on a rise in tap-and-go card fraud.
Police have witnessed an increase in thieves using stolen bank cards equipped with the feature, which allows them to make unlimited transactions.
Cannington Police’s Paul Crawshaw said tap-and-go card fraud had risen over the last couple of years and it was proving a headache to deal with.
“A significant portion of our workload over the last couple of years has been related to stealings where things like wallets, handbags and backpacks have been stolen, particularly when left visible and unattended in cars,” he said.
“The offenders will use the cards or pass them on amongst their group and the card gets used multiple, multiple times for those transactions.
“They’re often $100 transactions multiple times over, so we’re talking thousands of dollars potentially per card and more often than not someone has three or four cards in their wallet.
“It has a significant impact on the resourcing of the district and the number of officers available to focus on the other tasks that need to be seen to.”
Sgt Crawshaw said it could be easily avoid by not leaving valuables in vehicles.
“We sigh every morning when we see another car broken into, another handbag stolen, someone’s left it on the front seat of their car parked in the street,” he said.
“If we can curb stealing from cars, by not leaving property there, that would eradicate a huge amount of fraud.”
Armadale officer in charge Glenn Spencer said his officers had investigated 18 incidents of fraud in January alone.
“A recent spike resulted in a trend of cars being broken into during the night and stolen cards being used for pay pass fraud at 24 hour service stations and convenience stores,” he said.
“Working with the businesses we have some good results with their CCTV in terms of following up offences and for prevention we have gained the co-operation of businesses who turn off the tap and go after midnight.
“This simple act alone can help reduce crime and retailers can also help by being alert to people spending suspiciously close to the limit or returning on multiple occasions in a short time and simply request the person use their PIN.”
Gosnells officer in charge Jodie Pearson urged people to take initiative as soon as they realised they had been a victim of theft to help prevent bank card fraud.
“Immediately reporting a lost or stolen credit card reduces the window of opportunity for any unauthorised transactions to be made,” she said.
“Review your credit card transaction, if an unauthorised transaction is made, it will show up on your credit card account and statement.”