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Quebec police say merchants forced to help fraudsters

The Canadian newswires are reporting that criminals are starting to using bribes and strong-arm tactics alongside the usual sleight-of-hand approach when it comes to installing hacked PINpad and EFTPOS terminals in retail outlets.

The reason for the the surge in retail EFTPOS terminal fraud is the wholesale switch from credit to debit cards in Canada, mirroring what is happening elsewhere in the world.

By cloning shopper's magnetic stripe debit cards and doctoring the EFTPOS terminal to store the punter's PIN, criminals can then draw cash from punter's accounts at the nearest ATM, as well as shopping until the punter's bank account drops.

Canadian police say that a combined operation (opens in new tab)lasting six months by eight police forces across the country has resulted in the seizure of 16 fraudulently modified debit card readers that had 1,500 card numbers scanned into them.

Police say that three people have been arrested as a result of Operation Terminal and 62 investigations were started.

Interestingly, however, police add that investigators discovered that retail employees were rarely involved in EFTPOS fraud schemes unless they were coerced.

In one case in Quebec, a store staffer was reportedly offered a large sum of money to turn a blind eye to efforts to use a fraudulent card reader.

"She refused and she advised us immediately," said a police spokesperson...