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Toronto police warn about ‘taxi scams’ after more than 60 cases cost victims $40K

Toronto police have issued a warning about “taxi scams” after more than 60 instances have been reported over a seven-month period totalling over $40,000 in loses.

Police said since June 2023, the financial crimes unit has received dozens of reports of people being scammed after helping someone pay for their fare via a card in exchange for cash.

Investigators said the victims would walk by a taxi and be “approached by a scammer pretending to be a fare.”

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Police said the person explains that the taxi driver, who is also in on the scam, will not accept cash. The person offers the victim their cash if the victim can pay for the fare using debit or credit, police said.

The debit or credit card used is skimmed or swapped with another similar looking card and handed back to the victim in addition to the cash, police said.

Suspects then make fraudulent purchases or withdrawals with the debit or credit card from the victim, investigators allege.

“The Toronto Police Service would like to remind the public to be vigilant when using any type of public transport that results in debit or credit card transactions,” police said in their warning.

One suspect has been identified as being connected with several of the incidents, police allege.

A 25-year-old Brampton man, Steven Chambers, is wanted for fraud over $5,000, attempted fraud under $5,000, three counts of assault and two counts of failing to comply with a release order.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators.

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