Among the fashionable scams, the “magic ticket” is making a grand entrance. And as is often the case with scams, the people targeted are the elderly and vulnerable.
“It is a phenomenon of simple theft to the hijack that we have seen for several weeks in Paris and which is based on cunning or trick”, explains Julien Herbaut, police commissioner and head of territorial security (ST), to our colleagues from Parisian.
The criminals are rampant in particular on Sundays and Mondays, days when banks are closed. “It gives them more time before the victim notices the subterfuge, blocks his card and files a complaint,” notes the commissioner.
“A sleight of hand”
But what is this so-called “magic ticket” scam? It is in principle “young adults” who “present well” who are at the origin.
Adept at communication, they manage to provoke a state of stress in their interlocutor in order to destabilize them after having first established a climate of trust.
This was the case for Daniel, 80, who remembers a young man, in his twenties, “who could have been my grandson,” explained the retiree on a daily basis. Near the machine, the thug made him believe that he had lost money by handing him a 10 euro bill, explaining that it was his. In no time at all, he accompanies him to the machine, offers his help, memorizes his code and steals his card.
How did he do it? Well by discreetly exchanging the victim’s credit card with another “in a sleight of hand”, recalls Daniel. The swindler will have time to empty the account of his target (shopping at Dior, taxi rides, dinners in a large restaurant and 800 euros withdrawn in cash in two days) before she notices the subterfuge and opposes .
The “magic ticket” scam occurs when the “Marseille collar” scam already exists, which consists of recovering the victim’s bank card code using a device installed on the distributor.
A decrease in 2021
Good news, however: due to the pandemic, thefts from ATMs were down last year, with withdrawals by the French plummeting as contactless use skyrocketed. In addition, more than 1,600 ATMs were closed in 2020, mainly in large cities, according to the Union.
Despite everything, we cannot repeat it enough: it is better to be extra vigilant, and, if possible, favor distributors located inside bank branches.