Red Deer RCMP investigate card skimming fraud

An observant Red Deer man saved himself and his credit card company a lot of trouble when he noticed that his credit card wasn’t fitting smoothly into the hand held debit/ credit machine he was using at the Edo Japan Restaurant on 69 Street and Taylor Drive in Red Deer. On close examination of the machine, it was discovered that it contained a magnetic strip that the business’s other machines did not have. The man alerted the business owner and called RCMP, who removed the affected machine and sent it away for analysis by crime technicians. The remaining credit/ debit machines at this restaurant had not been tampered with.

RCMP review of the business surveillance revealed three men entering the business on July 29, making small purchases and looking around the front counter area before leaving. The same three men then returned on July 30. At that time, one man served as lookout, another distracted staff and the third placed a backpack on the counter and then surreptitiously switched the machines while he placed a food order. He paid for his food with cash and the three men departed.

The suspects are described as:

Card skimming - Suspect 1Suspect 1:

· darker skinned male

· between 5’5″ – 5’7″ tall

· 190 pounds

· short dark hair

· full black beard

Suspect 2:

· Card skimming - Suspect 2black male

· between 5’9″ – 5’11” tall

· approximately 200 pounds

· short black hair

· mid 20s

· clean shaven

· no glasses

Suspect 3:

· Card skimming - Suspect 3darker skinned male

· approximately 6′ tall

· skinny, 170 pounds

· short black hair

· clean shaven

· no glasses

RCMP wish to remind business owners not to let point of sale (debit and credit) machines out of their sight. It only takes a moment for scammers to insert a magnetic strip into point of sale machines or, in this case, to switch the machine for one with a magnetic strip already inserted; the magnetic strip then streams clients’ banking information and PINs to the scammers’ device. Businesses are advised to check their point of sale machines regularly, looking for wires, loose pieces or other evidence the machine has been tampered with.

Anyone with information that may assist the police in investigating this incident is asked to call Red Deer RCMP at 403.343.5575. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477 or report it online at