An Ontario woman lost $2,000 in a taxi scam after being approached by a woman claiming she needed help paying a fare in a parking lot a week ago.
“The young woman was holding a $20 bill and she was telling me the taxi driver wouldn’t take cash. She said can you use your debit card for me and I will pay you in cash? Well, who would say no to that? Who?” Edmee Moir of Etobicoke, Ont., told CTV News Toronto.
The woman handed Moir the $20 bill and Moir proceeded to pay the taxi driver with her debit card. He took her card, Moir entered her PIN, and the transaction was over.
But Moir said when she got back to her vehicle she noticed the debit card that was returned to her wasn’t her own.
“I get in my car and I think, ‘by golly this is not my card.’ I went back but by then they were both gone,” she said.
Concerned something was wrong, Moir rushed to her local bank branch. By the time she got there, the scammers had already drained $2,000 from her bank account, her daily limit, through an ATM.
Moir said she was initially told she may not be able to get her money back because she had given the scammers her bank card.
“I was told because you gave your card to the taxi driver, you have no chance of getting a cent back,” she said.
The good Samaritan taxi scam has been operating in different parts of the Greater Toronto Area. Typically, it involves a fake taxi driver and a person who scouts for people who will pay with their debit card and accept cash in return.
The scam also uses a fake debit machine which records the PIN. So when the scammer takes your debit card, they know your PIN and then immediately make purchases or cash withdrawals to your daily limit.
Toronto police have warned about the scam in the past and said don’t give your debit card to anyone during a transaction and never return a debit machine with your card still in it. Officers encourage everyone to always inspect your debit card to make sure it’s yours after each transaction and shield your card with your hand so no one can watch you enter your pin.
Moir banks with CIBC, and when CTV News Toronto contacted CIBC Corporate Communications, they said Moir’s case was still under investigation.
Josh Burleton, Senior Consultant, Public Affairs with CIBC told CTV News Toronto in a statement, “Protecting our clients is a clear priority for our team and when we identify an issue or one is reported to us, we work quickly to investigate and resolve the matter, as we did for our client in this case.”
“While we have strong controls in place to detect fraudulent activity, we encourage all of our clients to be on guard and vigilant for card swapping and other distraction thefts when paying for a delivery or service. More information about how to spot and stay safe from distraction thefts and other frauds and scams is available on our website.”
CTV News Toronto told Moir today that she will get the stolen $2,000 put back into her bank account, which was great news for her.
“I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. I’m so happy because $2,000 is a lot of money” she said.