Guelph police say a scam that involves two swindlers in a fake taxi hit the Royal City on Saturday evening.
The hustle lures Good Samaritans to pay the fare for the fake passenger in a dispute with the fake cabbie who claims to not be accepting cash.
Since Saturday, five people have filed complaints with Guelph police, including one victim who had his debit card and $700 stolen.
“One of the males was posing as a passenger and claiming the driver would not accept cash due to the COVID pandemic,” police said.
“The supposed passenger asked people to use their debit or credit card to cover his fare, and in exchange, he would give them his cash.”
The service added that one victim said he was out for a walk and approached by a man in the parking lot of Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate.
The victim provided his debit card to cover the $7 fare and the fraudster gave him $10 cash.
“The victim later realized the card returned to him was not his,” police said. “He checked his online banking and discovered his card had been used for $226 in purchases as well as $500 online transfers.”
Police said both men are described as being in their 20s with dark hair. The passenger was described as approximately five-foot-six with puffy hair and was wearing a white shirt and small square glasses.
They were driving a black car, possibly a Ford Crown Victoria with a faded “Beck Taxi” sign on the roof.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Guelph police at 519-824-1212 ext. 7278. Anonymous tips can be left with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.