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Two men facing fraud charges after allegedly tampering with ATMs

‘Sophisticated operation’ allowed suspects to obtain bank cards and PINs
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Two men are facing fraud charges after allegedly tampering with a number of bank machines in Vancouver.

Vancouver police last month arrested four people suspected in what officers have described as a “sophisticated operation.”

In early May Vancouver police received information from Scotia Bank that a number of ATMs in the city had been tampered with, temporarily disabling the machines’ security features.

“Suspects typically entered the ATM vestibules at night, set up a discreet camera to capture a customer’s PIN, and then placed a cover over the card reader to prevent the card from ejecting at the end of the transaction,” media relations officer Const. Jason Doucette said in a press release.

The suspects also allegedly removed the customer service contact information on the machines so customers would need to leave before making contact with the bank.

“It appears these people are part of a group making their way across Canada from Ontario to B.C.,” Doucette said. “Our investigators are following up with other police agencies to see if there are any links that could help with unsolved files.

“If your card gets stuck in a bank ATM, please be patient, and don’t leave until you receive clear directions from bank staff,” he added.

Detectives with the department’s identity theft unit identified four suspects in the case. All four were arrested May 18 at a residence on Aquarius Mews near Pacific Boulevard. Two men in their 30s are now facing fraud-related charges and remain in police custody. The two other suspects were released pending further investigation.

“Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is asked to contact their bank and make a report with their local police,” Doucette said.