How to protect yourself from gym thieves stealing thousands using banking apps

London thieves target gym goers while they exercise, copy credit cards and rack up fees over $11,000. Although recent reports are in the UK, similar scams could pop up anywhere – here’s how to protect yourself.

BBC News reports that women in London have reported that they had huge sums of money stolen from their bank accounts while at the gym. Each case had a similar story, a female victim who left her belongings in a locker at a popular gym chain and returns to find her phones and cards have been stolen. When checking their bank account, they find that high value purchases have been made with their credit card.

Visa credit cards are seen August 11, 2019 in New Orleans. Payment processor Visa Inc. said late Saturday, September 10, 2022, that it plans to start categorizing gun store sales separately. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

A victim said a thief spent £10,000 ($11,391) at Harrods and the Apple store in Covent Garden using her account and tried to spend another £10,000, but she had already blocked her cards.

Another woman had her locker raided at a city gym and within 90 minutes £7,500 ($8,543) was spent at similar stores including Selfridges, Apple, Balenciaga and Harrods.

Police believe the thief has a method to bypass mobile device passwords or Face ID. Once he has the phone and the card, the thief registers the card on the relevant bank’s app on his own phone or computer. As this is the first time this card will be used on the new device, a unique security code is sent to the stolen phone, which the thief then uses to link the card to their own device and now has full access to the bank account. the victims. The security code is usually visible on the stolen phone even if it’s locked because most people leave message previews turned on.

So how can you prevent this from happening to you? The easiest method is to not bring your cards or phone to the gym, or to make sure they are not left together in a locker or other single location.

If keeping your stuff with you in the gym isn’t an option, the suspected thieves’ technique can be stopped or at least slowed down by disabling message previews on the lock screen. We’ve included the process for iPhones and Android devices below.

For iPhones:

  • Go to settings
  • Scroll down to Messages
  • Scroll down to Notifications
  • Scroll down to Show previews where there are three choices: Always / When unlocked / Never
  • Select If Unlocked or Never. Your messages will no longer flash when your phone is locked

For Android:

  • Go to settings
  • Select lock screen
  • Select Notifications
  • Select Don’t show notifications. Your messages will no longer flash when your phone is locked

Find out more from BBC News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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