Police have reported that at least 20 people have been victims of theft at parking meters on public roads in Nîmes.
The victims are generally people between the ages of 70 and 90. Thefts have accelerated since the end of November, with damages ranging from € 200 to € 2,000.
The criminals operate on ave Jean-Jaurès (between the Quai de la Fontaine and Place Séverine) and ave Franklin-Roosevelt. The procedure is identical. One or two people walk up and stand at the back of a victim who is about to pay for a parking ticket at the parking meter.
If the victim starts to pay with coins, the crooks intervene immediately, telling the victim that the parking meter does not accept coins and that they must pay by bank card. The criminals then take the opportunity to view the secret code entered by the victim, and then the victim is diverted by one of the crooks, while the other steals the card still in the parking meter.
When the victim becomes aware of the disappearance of their bank card, the two criminals inform the victim that an employee will return the card or that it will be sent by post. The criminals then disappear. According to the police, this method is designed to postpone the report of a stolen bank card. Generally the stolen bank cards are used for fraudulent transactions immediately.
The police offer advice that as soon as a stranger intervenes, do not type in the secret code of your card or take your eyes off it. Immediately collect your card and move away from the person. Contact 17 as soon as possible and let the police know that an attempt to steal your card has just occurred.
Source: Midi Libre