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Police warn public about fake taxi scam

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 4:14 PDT, Wed April 27, 2022

Last Updated: 4:45 PDT, Wed April 27, 2022

Richmond RCMP is warning the public about a debit card fraud scam involving a fake taxi, a fake driver, and a fake passenger.

Police say since Friday (April 22), there have been several reports of a young man approaching people in busy parking areas, asking them to help pay for his taxi because he does not have enough money. Upon agreeing to help, the victim is allegedly told by the taxi driver that he does not take cash due to COVID-19, nor does he accept credit cards. 

The unsuspecting victim apparently provides the driver with a debit card, and the driver claims the tap function on his electronic payment machine does not work. The driver allegedly takes the victim’s card, pretends to make a transaction, has the victim put in their PIN number, and gives a bogus card back to the victim.

Police say the unsuspecting victim may later find several fraudulent transactions on their debit card, most involving several hundred dollars.

“This scam appears to be a new one for the City of Richmond, but already we have had seven victims report the matter to police in the past few days,” says Cpl. Ian Henderson. “Our frontline and economic crime unit investigators are working diligently to identify and locate the suspects. Meantime, we believe there is a need to warn the public of this fraudulent activity.”

The fake taxi vehicle is described as a white Toyota Camry with a white taxi sign on top. The fake taxi driver is described as a Fijian or South Asian man in his early 20s. The fake passenger is described as a Middle Eastern man also in his early 20s.

Anyone with information on this matter is asked to contact Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212, quoting file number 2202-10686. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or visit them online at solvecrime.ca

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