Good Samaritan taxi scam targets residents in Hamilton, Ontario

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Published June 12, 2024 at 7:29 am

taxi scam hamilton ontario

The Good Samaritan taxi scam has resurfaced in Hamilton.

In a press release today (June 12), Hamilton Police said it has received multiple reports of this fraudulent scheme, and the public is urged to remain vigilant.

In this scam, two people park a vehicle, that looks like a taxi, in high-traffic areas.

One person pretends to be a taxi driver while the other poses as a customer. The suspects stage an argument, with the “taxi driver” refusing to accept cash due to alleged protocols.

A passerby, acting as a Good Samaritan, is approached and asked to help with their own debit card to pay the fare in exchange for cash.

When the victim enters their PIN into a modified debit machine, the terminal records their card data and PIN.

After the transaction, the victim is handed another bank card, resembling their own, while the suspects retain the victim’s actual debit card.

Armed with the PIN, the scammers then use the card to make fraudulent transactions.

In return for their “help,” the Good Samaritan is usually given a $10 bill.

Hamilton Police offer the following tips to avoid this scam:

  • Do not give your card to anyone. Always keep your card in your possession.
  • Do not return a debit card machine with your card still inserted. Make sure you remove your card after completing a transaction.
  • Do not make a payment for an unknown person using your personal card in exchange for cash. Be cautious of any such requests from strangers.
  • Inspect your card after each transaction to ensure it is your own. Verify that the card you get back is indeed yours.
  • Cover your fingers when entering your PIN. Shield the keypad to prevent others from seeing your PIN.

Anyone with information that could assist Hamilton Police should contact the Hamilton Police Financial Crimes Unit at 905-546-3840.

To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit tips online at http://www.crimestoppershamilton.com.

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