BUSINESS

Toronto Taxi Debit Scam Bilks Passenger Out Of $2,600

03/11/2016 08:09 EST | Updated 03/11/2016 08:59 EST

When Bran Ramsey took a cab after a night of drinking last Friday, he never expected to arrive home with someone else's debit card — and over $2,600 withdrawn from his account.

The Toronto man grabbed a taxi at King Street West and Spadina Ave. for a ride to his house in the Junction neighbourhood at about 2:30 a.m., the Sun reported Thursday.

Ramsey paid for the $18 ride using his debit card.

Hours later, he realized the driver had given him back someone else's card.

Meanwhile, someone had been busy with Ramsey's card, making 12 withdrawls for a total of $2,600.

Two deposits, possibly just empty envelopes, for about $5,000 had also been dropped to his account.

"I wasn't even charged for the [cab ride]," he told CBC News. "I don't think the debit machine he used was a real debit machine. So there's no paper trail of me ever being there."

Ramsey's story comes two months after Toronto police warned the public that a number of supposed cab drivers had been running a similar scam on unsuspecting passengers since November.

Dozens of victims saw their debit cards taken. TD Bank alone fielded 65 complaints in connection with the operation.

At the time, police said that drivers with several cab companies could have been responsible, though they didn't name any businesses directly.

iTaxiworkers Association spokesman Sajid Mughal told the Sun the offending drivers might not even be real cabbies — they could just be people who put "taxi" signs on their cars.

Investigator Det. Chris Beattie warned people to be careful about taxis whose company names don't seem familiar, CBC News reported.

Last year, two men were arrested in Montreal after passengers were scammed out of more than $400,000, said CTV News.

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