The Yuba City Police Department is warning residents about a deceptive scheme involving a “misplaced $20 bill” following numerous reports of adults having their debit cards stolen while shopping at grocery stores and ATMs. This scam has been cropping up in various locations across California.
The perpetrators employ a two-step tactic. Initially, they discreetly observe their victims entering their debit card PIN at a checkout terminal. Subsequently, they approach the victim, offering them a $20 bill, claiming it was dropped by the victim.
Shortly after, the culprits re-engage the victim, often in the parking lot, and request the return of the supposedly misplaced $20 bill. During this interaction, a second individual “distracts the victim,” sometimes with conspicuous hand gestures, which can encroach on the victim’s personal space, as noted by the police.
Unbeknownst to the victim, the first suspect seizes the debit card during this distraction. These stolen cards are then used for unauthorized purchases or withdrawals.
Law enforcement officials strongly urge individuals to exercise caution when using their debit cards or divulging personal information in public spaces