Anyone can be a victim of a distraction robbery. There are plenty of ploys, and robbers are very creative. Some of them will ask you for directions to a hospital or some other place, ask to borrow a map, politely ask you to take a picture of them, ask you to help them figure out how their cell phone or GPS works, try to sell you jewelry or get you to try it on, and so on. These robbers can be men, women, teens or mothers with babies. They are often likable and friendly, and you may not realize until much later that they robbed you of jewelry that you were wearing, of your credit cards or of your money. No violence has yet been reported in such cases.
If a stranger approaches you in a parking lot or on the street:
- Always lock your car doors and never let a stranger in.
- Do not allow any type of physical contact, even a handshake.
- Do not try on any jewelry that they may try to sell you.
- Try to remember everything you can about the person (physical description, language spoken, accent, etc.), and their car (type, colour, licence plate province and number).
- Close and conceal or keep a firm grip on your purse or briefcase.
- Check to make sure that you have all your bank cards and IDs, as well as your rings and jewelry after the person leaves.
- Inform police, and give them as much information as you can about the individual and his/her vehicle. Even if you were not robbed, if you think that the person is involved in such robberies or scams, contact the police to give them a description of the vehicle and person.
In case of emergency, call 9-1-1