Five men arrested in Oakville, Burlington ‘taxi scam’ fraud

By

Published December 10, 2021 at 1:12 pm

An investigation into a taxi scam in Oakville, Burlington and across Halton Region has led to the arrest of five men from across the GTA.

Halton Regional Police say the five individuals were involved in an organized taxi fraud ring that was set up in busy local retail parking lots to steal the victims’ debit or credit card and pin information.

Acting in unison, the five individuals, utilizing a point of sale terminal and a slight of hand technique, would target “good Samaritans.”

The bogus taxi vehicle used in the most recent incidents was identified as a silver 2007 Toyota Camry with a yellow “CIC Inc.” taxi roof sign (see below photos).

The scam usually involves two people with one acting as a taxi driver and the other as a customer. The fake taxi driver will only accept cash. The fake 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.

The stolen debit card is then used by the suspects to withdraw money and/or make purchases.

Halton investigators were able to track down and arrest the individuals responsible for the crimes in Toronto on Wednesday (Dec. 8).

Search warrants were then executed at two separate Brampton residences were police located and seized evidence related to these frauds including:

  • Dozens of debit cards
  • Point of sale machines
  • Yellow “CIC Inc.” taxi roof sign
  • Numerous sets of stolen license plates
  • Approximately $35,000 in Canadian currency
  • $1,200 in fraudulently obtained gift cards
  • Fraudulent Identity Cards with associated debit and credit cards

As a result of this investigation, the five males were charged with:

  • Fraud Under $5000
  • Unauthorized Possession of Credit Card Data
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime

All five accused were released on an Undertaking.

Members of the community that have been victimized by fraud are encouraged to report these incidents to local police.

Further information and helpful links to other fraud-related resources can be found in the Frauds and Scams area of the Halton Police website.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

 

 

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising