Local shoppers are being warned not to engage with strangers when exiting from shops or shopping centres in Meath and further afield.
The warning comes after a female shopper recently had over €3,000 taken from her accounts after her cards were taken from her wallet.
The woman in question was approached outside a shop in Cavan Town by a man insisting that €10 had fallen on the ground from her purse .
Despite the shopper indicating that the money did not belong to her, the con man grabbed her purse and pushed the €10 note into it.
When the lady went to her car and checked her purse, she immediately realised that her debit card was missing.
She went straight to the bank to cancel her card, only to be informed that €2,100 had been already withdrawn from her account and that had happened in less than a 20-minute duration.
Later she also discovered that €1,200 had been withdrawn from her Post Office Account in sterling.
It is believed that two males were working in consort to carrying this 'Good Samaritan con job/slight of hand theft' from a purse or wallet.
The Anglo-Celt has been informed that these criminals can detect the pin numbers being used in transactions merely by recalling the sequence from your finger movements on the machine – ie there are only nine numbers - displayed in three rows and then the zero.
The lady immediately reported the matter to the Gardaí and CCTV footage has been retrieved by the gardai from the shop and the bank.
A Garda spokesman told our sister paper The Anglo Celt that they are following a definite line of inquiry in relation to this mean-spirited type of crime in the run up to Christmas.