Thieves can deplete victims’ bank accounts by using stolen cards and paywave.
Thieves can deplete victims’ bank accounts by using stolen cards and paywave. Contributed

Police warn Paywave makes it easy for thieves

THE growing popularity of paywave has made it easier for opportunists to fleece people's bank accounts without the victims even realising their cards are missing.

This has prompted police to warn residents to ensure their cards were in their possession at all times and to keep their homes and cars locked.

Darling Downs crime prevention coordinator Wendy Brooks said although paywave technology was great, there were increased risks.

"Generally people have been wary of this technology but (they) need to take protective measures," Senior Constable Brooks said.

She said the technology could be abused easily.

"Once they've got your card, they can easily rack it up until there is no money left or the card is reported stolen," Snr Const Brooks said.

With transactions of up to $100 being able to be processed without a signature or pin number, and no daily limit on the number of transactions, funds could be used quickly without raising alarm.

Common purchases were alcohol, cigarettes and supermarket items.

Snr Constable Brooks said although some banks would compensate victims following a police investigation, there was no guarantee.

"It is a very lengthy process to investigate," she said.

"A victim could be without their money for an extended period of time.

"The offender has usually disposed of the card long before being caught.

Police have to rely on CCTV footage and intelligence to catch offenders.

"It's important to remember to lock it or lose it. Ensure your cards are with you at all times and keep homes and cars locked."


Transactions up to $100 do not require a PIN or signature.

There is no daily limit on the number of transactions.

If your card is missing, notify your bank and the police immediately. 

There is no guarantee of refund from bank or offender.