WA Police are fighting wireless EFTPOS machine fraud with a new taskforce clamping down on “card not present” crime.
A taskforce will be established named Taskforce Travel to focus on offenders who manually manipulate wireless EFTPOS machines at small businesses to fraudulently obtain goods and cash.
“Offenders generally enter stolen or fake bank card details on to EFTPOS machines to buy goods,” Regional Investigations Unit Detective Sergeant Simone Taplin said.
“They acquire the goods or, in some instances, inflate the purchase price before demanding a refund.”
Det. Sergeant Taplin said offenders also snatched EFTPOS machines from stores and refunded money to their bank accounts.
Small family-run businesses have primarily been victims, with crimes widespread across the state.
WA Police identified the crimes through trends and the impact to the community.
Investigations have resulted in 12 people being charged with more than 160 offences.
Det. Sergeant Taplin advised small store owners to be alert when serving customers paying by EFTPOS.
“We need retail staff to be vigilant when transactions are made using EFTPOS machines,” she said.
She said store owners needed to avoid allowing customers to handle EFTPOS terminals.
“EFTPOS machines should not be handed over to a customer,” Det. Sergeant Taplin said.
“They should be secured where possible. In general terms, this is a requirement of financial institutions.”
“Handing over an EFTPOS machine may make retailers liable for the financial loss.”
WA Police advise retail staff who are suspicious about a transaction can refuse a sale, contact security within the shopping centre or call police.