The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is warning residents of a fake taxi scam that is occurring in the region, but no doubt can occur everywhere.
The fraud typically involves two suspects – one acting as taxi driver and the other acting as a customer. The fake taxi driver will refuse to accept cash from the fake customer for a fare. The suspect playing the role of customer will then prey on unsuspecting individuals nearby, asking them to use their debit card to pay the fare in exchange for cash (which will be given to the victim at the time).
The intent is to draw the victim to the taxi, where the fake taxi driver presents a point of sale machine to the victim. The debit card is swiped/inserted into the machine and the PIN number covertly obtained by the suspects. The victim is then distracted by the suspect playing the role of customer, at which point the driver switches the debit card (retaining the victim’s card and giving them a different one back).
The stolen debit card is then used by the suspects to withdraw money and/or make purchases.
The HRPS is investigating three such occurrences that took place in Oakville over the weekend; however this scam has been occurring across the province for some time.
HRPS investigators also issued a similar warning about this scam in November, 2020.
The HRPS would like to remind the public of the following tips:
Taxis DO and WILL accept cash;
Never give your debit/credit card to someone else;
When making a purchase attempt to conceal your PIN;
Be mindful of the point of sale machine when making a purchase and if you suspect it has been tampered with, choose another payment method; and
If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact police immediately.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents, or anyone who has information about similar incidents, is asked to contact the Fraud Intake Line at 905-825-4777 ext. 8741.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.