Scam watch: bogus traffic wardens stealing motorists' bank cards

10 July 2019

Fraudsters are rigging parking meters so they can steal bank cards


Drivers are being warned to to be on the lookout for fake traffic wardens and police officers issuing bogus tickets to steal bank details.

Motorists are being approached while in their car or in a car park and told they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and that a photo has been taken of their car for evidence.

Action Fraud - the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre – says it has seen an increase in this type of scam, with 33 reports since January.

The victims, many of whom are elderly or vulnerable, are then told they will face a huge fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee.

If they choose to pay the smaller penalty they are directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN number.

The cards are then swallowed by machine and the fraudsters look over the victim’s shoulder to get their PIN number.

Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, says: “This is a highly planned fraud that takes advantage of the pressure victims feel to pay the fine, especially by those who are elderly and vulnerable.

“It is important that people shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine. We are urging people to be particularly cautious of anyone claiming to be from an official authority. If in doubt, verify the person’s identity with your local council or police force.”

Protection advice

  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.

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