NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A cabbie apparently without credentials is suspected of stealing credit card information with a special device.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, one passenger snapped pictures after he recently got taken for a ride.READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Accuses Gov. Cuomo And MTA Of 'Fear Mongering,' Insists Subways Are Safe
It should have been an easy ride from TriBeCa to Union Square for the man, who did not want to be identified. It was not until he reached his destination – and tried to pay his fare – that he knew something was not right.
“He showed me what seemed to be a new machine that was connected to the system that I had to swipe that was in the front of the cab,” the man said. “I assumed that it hadn’t been installed yet.”
The man gave his credit card to the cabbie because the machine in the back seat was not working.
“He swiped my card, and then I heard another swipe from the front seat, and I looked forward and I saw a second card machine on the passenger seat in the cab — and it was not connected to another other device,” he said.
The man thinks the second machine was a card skimmer to steal all of his information. At that point, he began taking pictures on his cellphone.READ MORE: COVID Restrictions: New York City Restaurants Can Increase Capacity, New Jersey Raises Gathering Limits
“As soon as I became suspicious, I looked up in the back of the taxi to see that there was no medallion information; there was no driver’s license information,” he said.
And as the man got out and snapped more pictures, he realized he was in a fake taxi.
“And I noticed that the top medallion light was only three numbers, instead of three numbers and a letter in the middle,” he said.
The man also noticed no medallion on the hood, and the license plate was not right either. Even though the cab was painted with all the right markings, the Taxi and Limousine Commission believes it was likely a retired cab that was purchased at an auction.
“It was a really convincing scam, so I can’t even imagine how many people’s credit card information was stolen, and they just didn’t even know about it,” the man said.
The TLC told CBS2 the bogus cab has been in trouble before. It was seized once back in 2006 and again in 2007.MORE NEWS: NYC Parks Employee Slashed Across Face And Chest On The Job In The Bronx
The agency said it was actively looking for the fake cab, so as to get the driver and the cab off the street for good.