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Warning: Beware of Taxi Cab and Pizza Delivery Scams Targeting Residents in Mississauga and Brampton

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Residents of Mississauga and Brampton are being cautioned by the police about a new scam that aims to exploit their wallets and bank accounts. This particular scam, known as the “taxi cab scam” or “pizza delivery scam,” involves fraudsters approaching potential victims in parking lots of shopping malls and plazas, among other locations.

Peel Regional Police are urging the public to be aware of taxi cab scams, which operate similarly to the pizza swindle. The scammers take advantage of people’s willingness to help others in need and manipulate them into paying for it, often resulting in their bank accounts being drained.

In the taxi cab scam, typically two individuals collaborate to carry out the fraud. One person poses as a fake taxi driver, while the other pretends to be a passenger seeking assistance. The fake passenger approaches the victim, claiming that the taxi driver refuses to accept cash as payment for the fare. They ask the victim if they can use their own debit or credit card to pay the fare, with the promise of reimbursing them in cash. The victim inserts their card into a modified point-of-sale (POS) terminal to make the payment, unknowingly providing the scammers with their PIN. Meanwhile, the fake driver swaps the victim’s genuine card with a counterfeit one, which is then returned to the victim. The scammers later use the stolen card and PIN to withdraw funds from the victim’s account.

To protect oneself from such scams, the police offer several recommendations:

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1. Never hand your card over or disclose your PIN to anyone else.
2. If you do hand over your card, ensure that the card returned to you is indeed yours.
3. Be cautious of fake wireless or offline POS terminals when asked to insert or tap your card. If something seems suspicious, refrain from proceeding with the transaction.
4. If you suspect that you have fallen victim to the taxi/pizza delivery fraud or any other financial fraud, contact your financial institution immediately and report the incident to the police.

Victims of scams should take immediate action to safeguard themselves, even if the fraud has initially succeeded for the criminals. Police emphasize that there might still be time to minimize or prevent financial losses.

Throughout March, which was Canadian Fraud Prevention Month, Peel police intensified their efforts to combat scammers and educate residents about the latest frauds. They issued various warnings, including one about an income tax scam that aims to steal money and sensitive personal information. Additionally, they alerted the public about scams related to cryptocurrency, Ponzi schemes, pyramid scams, and emergency scams where scammers impersonate loved ones or threaten victims with legal consequences.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost over $530 million to fraud in 2022, much of which could have been prevented if victims were more aware of the tactics used by scammers.

For further information on different frauds and scams, residents are encouraged to visit the websites of Peel Regional Police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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