Wednesday, December 19, 2018, three search warrants were executed regarding a Fraud investigation into Taxi Fare Scams in the Greater Toronto Area.
Taxi customers take various cabs during the evening and early morning hours where might being defrauded.
The fraudulant drivers picked up a fare and drove them to their destination.
The customer attempted to pay for the fare utilizing their debit or credit card, after being handed an altered Point of Sale Machine by the driver.
The customer entered their PIN information and met an error with the machine.
The transaction did not process properly and the driver asked for the machine back to rectify the problem.
The driver then removed the customers debit/credit card, without them knowing and replace it with another person’s card that is from the same banking institution.
The customer completed what they believe is a proper transaction for the ride and then removed the card they believed was their own.
The customer took the ‘switched’ debit/credit card and proceeded to their destination.
The cab driver proceeded to the bank where the debit/visa card was associated. The PIN information belonging to the customer was captured on the Point of Sale Machine and activated, then the driver or another perpetrate, waiting for him, took the information and proceeded to an Automated Teller Machine. The customer’s account was accessed, using the stolen debit/visa card and their PIN was entered to gain access to their personal accounts. The customer’s funds were depleted from their accounts fraudulently.
The customer usually had no knowledge of the fraud until the bank notified them, or they attempted to utilize the card provided to them by the driver at a later date, realizing it had been swapped.
On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, search warrants were executed on several addresses.
A point of sale machine was recovered, along with financial documents, mail and personal banking information relating to the identity theft victims.
Four men, a woman, and a boy have been arrested. They are charged collectively with over 262 fraud-related charges relating to Taxi Fare Scams.
On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, Alex Ghakhar, 22, and Adam Ghakhar 22, of Toronto, were arrested.
On Thursday, December 20, 2018, Mohammad Sarwar, 25, of Toronto, was arrested.
On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, Tracy Begley, 48, of Toronto, was arrested.
On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, John Alexander Mackenzie, 24, of Toronto, was arrested.
On Tuesday, January, 15, 2019, a 16-year-old boy, of Toronto, was arrested.
There are still a number of incidents occurring, and there are still outstanding individuals actively defrauding the public utilizing various cabs in the GTA.
The cab companies are NOT directly involved and are not being held accountable.
City Pulse, Toronto