New Parking Scam in our Borough

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Please be aware of an ongoing scam that seems to be gaining popularity.

Currently, there appear to be two young black males targeting council public parking machines at locations such as Kew Village, Ferry Lane, Richmond Green and Old Deer Park.
It appears that when someone tries to pay for parking by card, the ‘scammers’ appear alongside them and engage them in conversation, on occasion mentioning that the machine isn’t working properly and trying to get them to put in another card.
This card may then be retained and the suspect passes them a phone to speak to someone at the parking department to get their card back. After a short while (5-10 minutes), the card is ejected and the suspects disappear. However, in that period of time, money has been taken from their account or, in other cases, it appears that the scammers manage to retain the victim’s card, which they then use fraudulently by chip and pin .
In most cases, there have been large amounts of money taken (£300 and upwards).
If you are paying for parking, firstly be aware of who is around you. If you see anyone in the near vicinity go back to your car and wait until they go. If you see them getting into car, if possible, try to get a registration.
Do not engage with anyone while purchasing your ticket and, if you lose your card, call your bank immediately to cancel that card.