Thieves steal $3,600 from single mom, toddler
By KRISTY BROWNLEE, QMI AGENCY
Last Updated: October 5, 2010 6:20pm
All it took was a few seconds for thieves to swipe a single mother's wallet from her Edmonton workplace and a few hours to empty her bank accounts. "It feels violating. It really is scary," said Randi Pliska on Tuesday, a 28-year-old salesperson.
On Monday afternoon, Pliska said she was working at The Brick mattress shop downtown when two women came into the store. One distracted her, while the other swiped her wallet from behind the counter.
Two hours later, the thieves phoned, posing as bank officials, to notify her of "suspicious activity," she said. They requested banking details, including her pin number, and her address. She unknowingly provided the information. In half an hour, the culprits drained about $3,600 from her accounts, including a few hundred dollars from her toddler's savings account.
"They sounded legit. I wasn't thinking about it at all," said the Fort Saskatchewan resident. Pliska said she was saving cash for her son's first car and college. "They stole from my three-year-old son. How sad is that?" she said.
Pliska said she reported the incident to police and the banks. She said the bank may not return the stolen cash because she provided her pin number to the crooks.
There is both good news and bad news here. First the bad news: this poor lady can vote (and a host of other things only responsible adults should be allowed to do).
The good news: she lives in Canada (which is only good news if you don’t live in Canada).
Moral to the story: PIN numbers are supposed to be kept secret. If you receive a random call from someone asking for yours, it would probably be better not to reveal them. In fact, the very definition of “suspicious activity” is someone calling you to ask for your PIN number.
The story says Randi “unknowingly” provided the information. There’s an understatement. What Randi seems not to have known is that you should not broadcast your banking information!
Or, you could just post all your PIN numbers, and account numbers, on the internet.
Note to Randi: someday, when your son is older and wonders what happened to his car money, please don’t tell him. It might be embarrassing!