Alert to Movie Goers – Check your Bank Statements


The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is warning movie goers that they may be in danger of being a victim of fraud if they went to the movies on March 25th and 26th, 2016.

In March, Galaxy Cinema had reports of fraud from theatres in Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Markham and North Bay involving their pin pads. As a result Galaxy Cinema instructed their theatres to check their pin pads for possible tampering.

On the 26th of March, management at Galaxy Cinema in the Station Mall inspected their Galaxy Purchase Pad pin pads and found what appeared to be two skimming devices. The skimmers were removed. A skimmer is used by fraudsters to read credit and debit card numbers, as well as personal identification numbers (PINS).

If you went to the Galaxy Cinema between March 25th and 26th and used the machines outside of the theatres, you are encouraged to check your bank statements and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.

If you did use those machines on those dates and there is no suspicious activity on your statement, it is recommended that you contact your financial institution and have your card number and/or PINs changed.

Skimmers are small devices that can scan and store credit card data from the magnetic stripe. Once your card is run through a skimmer, the data is recorded; crooks sell your information through a contact or on the internet, at which point counterfeit credit cards are made. Criminals then go on a shopping spree of a cloned copy of the credit or debit card, and cardholders are unaware of the fraud until a statement arrives with purchases they did not make.

The following can be signs of tampering with a reader:

  • loose or protruding parts
  • mismatched graphics
  • construction materials or colours
  • misaligned arrows
  • pin pads that feel thick or bulky
  • difficulty inserting your card

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is encouraging local merchants to inspect their pin pads and the SSMPS Fraud Unit is currently working on this investigation. At this time no reports have been received from victims.

The public is reminded to report any suspicious activity to the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service at 705-949-6300.


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