CSA 22-008: Taxi Scams Targeting Students

Broadcast Time: 13:00

Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Type: Community Safety Alert (CSA)

Occurrence #: N/A


The University of Toronto Campus Safety Special Constable Service is alerting the community about an ongoing Taxi scam that is targeting students.


Example:

A taxi rider approaches you asking for help paying the taxi fare with a debit card as the driver is not accepting cash due to COVID.


The rider hands you cash and you pay the taxi driver with your debit card. Once you've entered your PIN, the driver and rider distract you - taking your card and handing back a different one.


You don't realize until you go to use your card later and find money has been withdrawn.


Prevention:

  • Look for signs that the vehicle is a legal taxi such as signage; city licensed plate; taxi numbers and fare meter are clearly visible.

  • Look for signs that the driver is a properly licensed taxi cab operator. A name and photo card should be clearly visible.

  • When paying the fare, the driver will ask for a debit payment. When the POS terminal is presented, try the ‘TAP’ feature, if it doesn’t work, it’s sometimes an indication that it’s a fake terminal. When you input your PIN#, use a different PIN# -if the terminal says ‘approved’ that’s another indicator that the terminal is a fake one.

  • Always inspect your debit card to make sure that it is yours – mark it with marker or a sticker on the back to make it clearly identifiable as your card.

  • If this taxi scam happens to you make note of the taxi or fake taxi and take a picture of the vehicle. Call police and your bank to cancel your card.

Remember - hit P.A.U.S.E. when you are unsure.


If you have questions about protecting yourself from fraud, the following is an excellent source of information: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm