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Public Safety Alert,
Taxi Fraud Scam

Broadcast time: 13:15
Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021
Unit: 52 Division
Phone: 416-808-5200
Case #: 2021-490916

The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of a taxi fraud scam targeting people using their debit cards.

It is reported:

- the victims in these scams wave down a taxi cab and request a ride to a destination

- upon arriving at the destination, the driver insists that the victim pay with debit. The taxi driver may make excuses about not having change and not accepting credit payment

- the taxi driver provides the victim with a counterfeit debit machine

- the victim inserts the debit card into the machine and enters the PIN number associated to the card

- this counterfeit debit machine then records the victim's PIN

- after the transaction, the taxi driver then swaps the victim's card with another card from the same financial institution

- the taxi driver now has the victim's debit card and PIN

A modified version of this scam is also occurring primarily outside of the downtown core:

It is reported:

- a vehicle resembling a taxi parks in a high-traffic area

- a person poses as the taxi driver and the other person poses as a customer

- the two pretend to have a loud argument and the taxi driver refuses to take cash due
to COVID-19

- a good Samaritan overhears the arguments and offers to help by offering to pay with their own debit card for the cab fare in exchange for cash

- the good Samaritan inputs the PIN number for their debit card into the modified machine. The terminal then records the card data and PIN number

- after the transaction goes through, the good Samaritan is given another bank card resembling their own card and accepts cash from the fake taxi customer

- the fake customer and taxi driver are then in possession of the actual debit card and use the PIN number to make a number of fraudulent purchases and withdrawals

The police would like to remind the public of the following:

- be aware of this fraud scam

- keep your card in your possession

- do not give your card to anyone and do not return a point of sale terminal with your card still inserted

- inspect your card after each transaction and ensure it is your card

- cover your fingers when entering your PIN

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.

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Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable John Maciek, 52 Division