Home Crime Police advise public to be watchful for taxi fraud skimming PINs, swapping debit cards

Police advise public to be watchful for taxi fraud skimming PINs, swapping debit cards

by Matthew Best

Multiple frauds reported during pandemic’s increased period of cashless payments

Police say the fraudsters will hand victims a debit terminal like the one pictured above. The terminal is actually a counterfeit that records the PIN entered in the machine. (Photo by Ahmad Ardity on Pixabay)

The Toronto Police Service released a statement yesterday outlining “multiple taxi fraud scams.”

Police said the scam targets ride-hailers flagging down taxis. The victims wave down the fraudsters and give the cab driver their destination. 

Police confirmed in an email to the Ryersonian that the scammers use legitimate taxis, not cars disguised with false liveries or roof lights.

Police said that once the driver is at the destination, the driver will make excuses to only take debit, such as not having change for cash fare or not being able to accept debit. 

It’s alleged that the driver will then hand the victim a counterfeit debit terminal and have them insert their card and enter their bank PIN. As the terminal records the PIN, the driver takes the terminal back and uses the opportunity to swap the victim’s debit card with a dummy card from the same bank. The fraudsters now have the victim’s card and PIN.

Police advised the public to not only be aware of this scam, but to keep their bank cards in their possession, not return debit terminals with cards still inside, inspect the card after the transaction and to cover their PIN when entering it.

Although cashless payments have become more common during the pandemic, police did not say if this was exacerbating the fraud.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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