Police are searching for three suspects in connection with a card skimming scam at a local restaurant. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-343-5575 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report online to tipsubmit.com.

Debit card scammers hit Red Deer restaurant

Police are searching for three suspects in connection with a card skimming scam at a local restaurant.

Police are searching for three suspects in connection with a card skimming scam at a local restaurant.

RCMP were alerted recently when a man using the debit machine at the Edo Restaurant at 69th Street and Taylor Drive noticed his card was not sliding smoothly into the machine. On closer examination, he noticed the machine had a magnetic strip not found in the business’s other machines.

The business owner was alerted and police called. Police took the debit machine to be inspected by crime technicians. Remaining machines at the store had not been tampered with.

A review of store video surveillance revealed suspicious activity by three men. They first came into the restaurant on July 29, making small purchases while looking around the front counter area before leaving.

The same three were back a day later. As one acted as lookout, another distracted staff, and a third placed a backpack on the counter and switched out machines as he made an order. He paid in cash and then all three left.

Police warn business owners not to let their debit and credit machines out of their sight. It only takes seconds for crooks to insert a magnetic strip into machines or switch out machines.

Merchants should check their machines regularly, looking for wires, loose pieces or other evidence of tampering.

The suspects are described as:

l Dark-skinned male, between five-foot-five and five-foot-seven (1.65 to 1.7 metres), weighing about 190 pounds (86 kg). He has short dark hair and full black beard.

l Black male, between five-foot-nine and five-foot-11 (1.75 to 1.8 metres), weighing about 200 pounds (91 kg). He has short black hair, is in his mid-20s and clean shaven.

l Dark-skinned male, about six-feet (1.83 metres) and about 170 pounds (77 kg). He has short black hair and was clean shaven.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-343-5575 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report online to tipsubmit.com.

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