Police say ‘Good Samaritan’ scam has arrived in Hamilton

Published December 1, 2020 at 11:22 am

A scam that has caused headaches in the Toronto-area has made its way into Hamilton, according to local police.

“Over the course of several months, fraudsters in the GTA have been targeting Good Samaritans by using the ruse of coming to the aid of a taxi customer,” said Hamilton Police Service.

The “Good Samaritan scam” involves two suspects and a vehicle resembling a taxi parked in a high traffic area. One suspect poses as the taxi driver and the other suspect poses as a customer.

The two then pretend to have a loud argument and the taxi driver refuses to take the customer’s cash payment due to COVID-19. Once an unsuspecting person walks by, they are approached and asked to help by letting the “taxi customer” use their debit card to pay for the cab fare in exchange for cash.

“As the victim inputs their PIN number into the modified Point of Sale terminal, it records their card data and PIN number,” according to police. “Once the transaction clears, the victim is given another bank card, resembling their own. The suspects, who now have the victim’s actual debit card, use the PIN number to process fraudulent transactions.”

Police added that the victim is usually handed a $10 bill for their assistance.

Hamilton Police Service provided the following tips to help avoid a point of sale scam:

  • Do not give your card to anyone
  • Do not return a point of sale terminal with your card still inserted
  • Do not make a payment for an unknown person using your personal card in exchange for cash
  • Inspect your card after each transaction to ensure it is your own
  • Cover your fingers when entering your PIN
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