Parking Machine Scam Artist Hits Putney

Local resident helped only to have bank card stolen at ticket machine in Norroy Road


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This afternoon (28th December) a 'gentleman', described as slim build in his 30's asked a passing female resident for help using the parking machine, saying he only had cash and couldn’t get the machine to take it.

A similar machine in Putney

When told by the lady that the machine only used cards, he offered her £10 to pay for his parking on her credit card. He told the victim that he did not know Putney and was not aware that the machines only took cards or app accounts. The lady said the parking was only £1.50 and said that would be enough. When the resident put her card in the machine, the machine appeared to be faulty and would not give the card back. At some point the scammer took the card, or sufficient detail to close the card. His victim said that: "He pretended to ring the parking company, but clearly he didn’t".

The victim told PutneySW15: "When the incident happened early afternoon, today, and I had a realisation I had been scammed, I phoned my husband to ask him to get my bank debit card stopped. I had been hanging round the ticket machine, in case my card re-appeared, as I didn’t want it taken by someone else than me!".

The thief used the card at 2 cash points in Putney immediately after taking it despite the card being cancelled within 30 minutes of the incident.

The police have been contacted. Similar scams have been reported in 2019 in Kew, Richmond, Battersea Fulham and Roehampton.

To avoid falling for the same scam, please do not feel pressured into paying for someone else’s parking or making any other kind of payment on their behalf using your card. If you are not comfortable with doing so, politely decline and leave. If you see somebody else being pressured to make a payment on someone else’s behalf that they don’t seem comfortable with, ask if they are ok. If something doesn’t seem right, call police.

Three Top tips to help prevent you from becoming victim to card fraud are as follows:

1. If your card is retained, report this immediately to your card issuer whilst still at or near the machine. Make sure you store your Card Issuer’s 24hr telephone number in your mobile phone or wallet.

2. If there appears to be anything unusual about the machine, such as signs of tampering, do not use it and report your concerns to the company who operates the machine (i.e. the bank for an ATM or the council for a parking meter).

3. Shield your PIN from criminal cameras or prying eyes. Stand close to the machine and cover the keypad with your wallet, purse or free hand.

You can also download the latest edition of our Little Book of Big Scams, which contains lots of information about the variety of frauds out there and how to avoid falling victim to fraudsters:

December 28, 2019

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