Pickpockets in Brazil Are Reportedly Going After Smartphones to Clean Out Victims' Bank Accounts
São Paulo pickpockets are increasingly stealing people’s smartphones not to pawn off the device, but rather to gain access to their bank account.
That’s according to a report from Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo this week. As first spotted by 9to5 Mac, the report claims this kind of theft has been going on since the early days of the pandemic, but now specialized gangs have adopted the tactic to empty users’ bank accounts, and it’s put local authorities on high alert.
It remains unclear exactly how these criminals are bypassing security measures for the phones and banks involved. According to São Paulo police chief Roberto Monteiro, they appear to target devices that have already been unlocked by the owner.