Release Date: November 12th, 2020 - 12:32pm
Originator: D/Constable, Mike Tidball, Regional Fraud Unit, 905-825-4747 ext 8743
Contact: D/Constable, Mike Tidball, Regional Fraud Unit, 905-825-4747 extension 8743
Location: Halton Region
The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) would like to warn citizens of a scam that has been occurring across the Region of Halton. The scam typically involves two suspects – one acting as taxi driver and the other acting as a customer. The suspects will engage in a loud, verbal argument, where the taxi driver refuses to accept cash from the customer for the fare (often citing COVID-19 as the reason). The customer will then prey on unsuspecting individuals nearby, asking them to use their debit card to pay the fare in exchange for cash (which is given to the victim at the time).
The intent is to draw the victim to the taxi, where the 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 suspect. The victim is then distracted by the original customer (suspect) at which point in time the driver switches the debit card, retaining the victims and giving them a different one back.
The debit card is then immediately used by the suspects to withdrawal money or make purchases.
This scam has been occurring across the province and eight such incidents have been reported in the Region of Halton since late October, 2020 (five incidents in Oakville and three in Burlington).
The HRPS would like to remind the public of the following tips:
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to contact Detective Constable Mike Tidball of the Halton Regional Police Service – Fraud Unit at 905-825-747 ext. 8743.
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.