Dear Watch Member,
Scammers are targeting motorists in Pinner.
They approach elderly motorists and convince them they must pay for parking or a fine by inserting a credit / debit card into a parking machine, some of which have a card-sized slot. After the motorist enters their PIN on the alphanumeric keypad, the scammers then use a distraction or sleight of hand technique to remove the card. They then tell the motorist the machine has retained the card, which is then used to swiftly make contactless payments and/or withdraw money from a nearby ATM.
One of the scammers was reported to be wearing a camera to give the appearance of being a genuine parking enforcement officer. Other scammers approach motorists about to use a parking machine, to offer their assistance, when their real purpose is to confuse the motorist and steal their card.
Although the method can change (such as using an ATM instead of a parking machine) the intended result is the same.
Please note that Harrow Council parking machines only allow two types of payment; either with coins or by calling paybyphone, using their website (www.paybyphone.co.uk) or smartphone app, and no genuine parking enforcement officer will ask you to pay a fine in the street.
If you fall victim to these scammers it’s important to cancel any stolen card(s) at the earliest opportunity, so ensure that your card issuer’s phone number, found on the reverse of your card, is in your mobile phone’s contact list.
Please share this message on WhatsApp groups and social media feeds, and speak to elderly family, friends and neighbours to help prevent them becoming victims of this crime.
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Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]