PIN Pad Thieves Steal the Holidays

VANCOUVER, Dec. 18 /CNW/ - Pin Pad theft is on the rise. Merchants need to be vigilant as Pin Pad thieves take advantage of the holiday chaos and increased debit card transactions to steal banking information from shoppers.

The consumer has been warned about hiding their actions as they enter their PIN and to check bank statements regularly for transactions that are not their own.

But can Merchants help prevent thieves from stealing banking information from their customers? In short yes they can. Halo Metrics Inc., working with merchants across Canada, provides the following advice:

    1.  Understand how PIN Pad theft happens. Thieves tamper with Pin pad
        terminals to download banking information at another time. After a
        significant amount of data has been collected, they return, steal the
        unit again, and download the stolen data to their computers. From
        this information, they create counterfeit debit cards. More
        sophisticated thieves can download the data wirelessly, avoiding the
        necessity of a return trip for the equipment. Using covert cameras
        placed throughout the store, thieves can retrieve PIN numbers.
        Sometimes, they are close enough to watch as customers enter their

    2.  Identify your risk level? All businesses are susceptible. To assess
        your risk level, go to and answer the 29
        multiple choice questions. The results indicate if your business is a
        low, medium, or high risk for a PIN Pad theft attack. Sample
        questions include:
        a. Are you a 24 hour operation?
        b. Are you isolated from other businesses?
        c. Is your staff seasonal?
        d. Does your business have seasonal peaks?

    3.  Be proactive. Write down the model and serial numbers along with any
        identify marks such as location of labels on each terminal. Place
        your own company tamper proof labels over screws and removable panels
        on the back of the terminal. Check the terminals daily. Also:

        -  Your staff can become targets of criminal pressure to help with
           PIN Pad thefts. Give your staff a communication channel to report
           any criminal pressures to commit this type of crime.

        -  Do background checks (criminal check if possible) on new
           employees. Be wary of new hires who only want to work the late
           shift and when less staff is scheduled.

        -  Security cameras focused on general area - not on customers
           entering PIN information.

        -  Use security posts to bolt the terminal to the counter - can be
           combined with an alarm.

Shoppers need to know merchants are doing their best to protect their banking information.

Visit to learn more about PIN Pad theft prevention best practices and receive a free PIN Pad Theft Prevention Tool Kit.


For further information: For further information: IMAGE Available (Tampered PIN Pad Model recovered by Police). Contact for image.

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