Richmond Council’s parking and community safety teams have received several reports of parking machine bank fraud across the borough. Criminals pretend there is a problem with the parking machine and swallow drivers cards before they can be removed from the machine.
The council has warned victims then lose thousands of pounds from their bank account within minutes of losing their card.
Councillor Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee for Richmond Council warned drivers should take “extra care” when using machines.
He has urged drivers who believe they may have been caught out by the scam to contact their bank immediately.
Mr Ehmann said: “Until the criminals are caught please take extra care to be on guard against scammers and tell your friends and family, who might not have seen this warning message, to be careful too.
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The pay and display machines installed in the borough are manufactured so cards can only be inserted part of the way into the machine.
They warn drivers should be cautious if anyone approaches them when paying and should never insert a card into a parking machine when someone they don’t know is present.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Peter O’ Driscoll, Managing Director of RingGo said the latest scam may push more drivers towards using “cashless parking” in the area.
He said paying through an app reduced the risk of card details being stolen by criminals.
“Using an app means you don’t have to get your card out, instead you can simply pay via a secure, encrypted service.”
A similar scam was reported in Peterborough in 2019 with two drivers losing £700 and £530 after falling foul of the offence.
In both cases, victims had their card taken by the machine just seconds after pushing it into a machine to pay their parking charge.
Police were told the victims were both approached by a man seconds before urging them to pay by card as the machine was supposedly not accepting cash.
Published at Thu, 21 Jan 2021 08:51:00 +0000