Warning: parking machine fraud

8 April 2021

Motorists are reminded to be wary of thieves targeting people at Pay and Display parking machines.

Richmond Council’s parking and community safety teams have received several new reports in the past week of parking meter bank card fraud in the borough. Incidents have taken place in Barnes and Teddington but can happen anywhere.

The scam involves fraudsters distracting victims and stealing their bank cards by pretending that the parking machine has swallowed their card. The fraudsters then pretend to ring the number on the parking machines to report the card being swallowed. Another fraudster is on the phone and claims an operative will come out to investigate the issue in 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile the criminals use the victim’s bank card to withdraw hundreds of pounds.

Motorists are reminded that it is impossible for parking machines to retain bank cards. Pay and Display machines are manufactured so that cards can only be inserted part of the way. If your card goes missing, you have been a victim of fraud and should immediately cancel your card.

If anyone approaches you when you go to pay for parking, please be cautious and never insert your card into a parking machine when someone you do not know is present.

The victims have all been older residents. If you know an older driver, please inform them of this scam.

The Council has an alternative system for cashless parking called RingGo – it is a quick, easy to use mobile phone service, which lets you pay for your parking with a credit or debit card, rather than using a Pay and Display machine.

Register to use the free RingGo service.

Up to: April 2021

Updated: 8 April 2021