Distraction thefts on the rise in Durham

Fraud investigators are asking Durham residents to be mindful of a recent increase in distraction thefts in the area.

According to the DRPS, investigators have seen an increase in distraction thefts throughout the region over the past two months.

“These distraction thefts are not new, but with pandemic restrictions easing up, more victims are out shopping. In a few incidents, the fraudsters would approach an unsuspecting victim and tell them that their vehicle is leaking oil,” reads a media release.

“Once the victim is distracted, the suspects would steal their purse or wallets. The fraudsters usually target their victims by following them in a parking lot and distracting them in order to take their property.”

Another tactic that investigators have seen in the past is the fraudsters approach their victims in malls or shopping plazas and offering jewelry for sale.

“When they try to place the jewelry on the victim to size the jewelry, they actually take chains or rings from the victims,” the media release reads.

“In most cases seniors are being targeted; however fraudsters are also targeting all demographics.”

Investigators ask members of the community to be mindful of their surroundings at all times and always protect your valuables.

“Fraudsters can be persuasive and if someone appears suspicious, don’t engage them in conversation,” the media release reads.

Anyone with information about this type of incident is asked to call DRPS at 1-888-579-1520.

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