A woman is facing fraud charges after a man’s debit card was stolen in Halifax.
On May 25, a 23-year-old man contacted police after noticing his debit card missing and money missing from his bank account. The investigation revealed that the victim was in downtown Halifax in the early morning hours of May 22 when he was approached by a woman portraying herself as experiencing homelessness and being hungry. The victim used an ATM machine and went with the woman to a nearby restaurant to buy her a meal. While at the restaurant, his debit card went missing and was later used by the suspect to empty his bank account.
Yesterday, investigators arrested 52-year-old Diane Christine Kennedy of Halifax without incident. She was held in custody overnight and will appear in Halifax Provincial Court today to face charges of theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000 and fraud under $5,000. This investigation is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated as the accused is currently before the courts, facing a number of charges in relation to similar incidents.
It’s important to know that both a debit card and the PIN are required to access a bank account. The following tips will help protect you:
- Never share your PIN with anyone or keep a copy of it in your wallet/purse. Your PIN is considered confidential and should be treated that way.
- Examine your bank statements frequently and note any unusual or unaccounted activity.
- Notify the bank or financial institution if you suspect someone has tampered with your account.
- Change your PIN if you suspect someone has accessed your account.
- Protect your PIN when using bank machines by using the “hover and cover” technique – hover over the bank machine and cover the keypad to prevent someone from observing your key strokes or recording your PIN.
Investigators believe there may be more victims who have been defrauded in a similar manner. If you believe you have been the victim of a fraud, please call the Financial Crime Unit at 902-490-1985. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca or texting a tip - Tip 202 + your message to 274637