Fraud Unit warning residents to be vigilant with card skimming fraud involving a taxi

Posted On Friday September 24, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 24, 2021   3:35pm

(Ottawa) — The Ottawa Police Service Organized Fraud Unit is advising the public to be extra vigilant when being asked to pay for a service with a credit or bank card in exchange of money.

Since September 21st, 2021, the Ottawa Police Service has received several complaints concerning people being defrauded after affording assistance in paying with their personal credit or bank card for a taxi fare.

In all incidents, a suspect approaches the victim in a shopping or strip mall parking lot asking them to pay for their cab fare explaining that the driver does not accept cash because of COVID regulations, and only takes credit or debit.

If the victim accepts, he is then brought to the nearby taxicab to complete the transaction using their own credit/debit card.  The suspect then pays the victim with cash for the transaction.

In completing the transaction, the driver switches the victim’s credit/debit card for a false one and the Personal Identification number (PIN) is obtained surreptitiously. The victim’s card is then used to complete fraudulent transactions.  In all reported incidents, a fake BlueLine taxi vehicle was utilized.

The Organized Fraud Unit investigation has confirmed that a BlueLine sign (marquee) and licence plate are being used fraudulently.

The Fraud Unit provides these safety tips: 

  • Don’t accept to pay with your debit or credit card for someone else’s transaction even if you are offered monetary compensation, equivalent or superior to the original transaction amount.
  • When making purchases, protect your PIN.
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone.
  • Choose a PIN that is not easy to guess – avoid birthdays and phone numbers, etc.
  • Keep a close watch on your incoming bank and credit card statements.
  • For more tips, click here.

Reports of Fraud can be made by calling the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300 or online

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