A GTA-based taxicab driver is facing a slew of charges after police say they caught him red-handed swapping out a customer’s debit card for a bogus one.
They say Harjoban Nahal, 21, of Brampton, had several fake debit cards on him when he was arrested on Wednesday, leading officers to believe there could be more victims.
Police started their probe into these kind of “card swapping” scams almost five years ago.
They say some people who recently took a cab have been finding out that their debit or credit card has been secretly switched with a fake card that looks similar to the original.
Investigators warn that certain cab drivers are pulling off the slight-of-hand when customers aren’t paying attention.
Before the victim catches on to the scam, officers say the fraudsters will often drain bank accounts, withdraw cash or buys big-ticket items.
Police say they caught Nahal trying to pull off the scam in the area of Queen Street West and Yonge Street.
Among other things, he’s charged with seven counts of theft of credit card, six counts of fraud under $5,000, six counts of possess credit obtained by crime, fraud over $5,000, possess counterfeit money, possess instruments of forgery and fail to stop for police.
When he was cuffed, officers seized fake IDs, fake debit cards and a 2015 Nissan Sentra.
Police are also out with a warning for anyone who takes a cab: keep a close eye on your cards.
Paying with cash is one way you can avoid this kind of scam, though officers suggest minimizing distractions, especially while paying for your ride.
If you have any information about this kind of scam or believe you’ve been a victim, call Toronto police at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 (TIPS).
Photo courtesy of Toronto police