Hamilton police warn against Good Samaritan scam using taxi con

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Hamilton (December 1, 2020) – The Hamilton police urged the public to be vigilant for Good Samaritan scams in the area as well as the GTA. The scammers simulate an argument between a taxi driver and a customer. The victim is asked to help out the customer by using their personal bank card to pay the taxi driver in exchange for cash. However, the point of sale terminal is modified and the scammers steal the Good Samaritan’s bank card and PIN.

Over several months, fraudsters in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have been targeting people by using a so-called Good Samaritan Scam. The scam, in which the rogues pretend that a taxi customer requires help paying a taxi was now also reported in the Hamilton area, warned the local police in a press release on December 1.

The Good Samaritan Scam

Hamilton police are warning the public about a Good Samaritan Scam. They say the scam involves two suspects and a vehicle resembling a taxi. The taxi is parked in a high traffic area. One scammer poses as the taxi driver and the other poses as a customer. The two pretend to have a loud argument and the taxi driver refuses to take the customer’s cash payment due to COVID-19 concerns.

The police describe that then they approach a person who is walking by and ask them 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 into the modified point of sale terminal, it records the card data and PIN. Once the transaction clears, the victim is given another bank card, resembling their own. For their assistance, the victim is usually given a $10 bill.

The suspects, who now have the victim’s actual debit card, use the PIN to process fraudulent transactions.

How to protect yourself

The Hamilton police provided the following tips to lessen the likelihood of being a victim of a Good Samaritan scam using a bank card:

  • 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.

Investigators asked anyone with information that could assist Police with the investigation into this crime to contact Acting Detective Sergeant Rob Hardy by calling 905-546-3841.

Read more: Toronto man arrested for multiple frauds exploiting people’s willingness to help