A December arrest of NYC cabdrivers provides yet another warning to those who fail to review their credit card statements before providing payment. 12 drivers have been charged with grand larceny for their part in stealing almost $40,000 from individuals who’d had their credit card numbers stolen. Although the victims had not ridden with the cabbies, the numbers from their accounts were entered into the cab driver’s system when the drivers entered a “Rate 5” code into their meter.
According to officials from NYC’s Department of Investigation (DOI), this rating signaled that the cab driver had an agreed-upon rate for traveling beyond the five boroughs. Using this strategy, the drivers charged almost five hundred dollars for a minute-long ride. The drivers amassed nearly $40,000 through entering over 100 fake rides into their meters.
In condemning those charged, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said,” These taxi drivers turned their cabs into a crime scene. They exploited their taxi’s electronic payment systems to run up thousands of dollars in fake charges for fake rides.” He praised NYC vendors responsible for monitoring payment systems for noticing the trend of false fares. Of the three companies that service cab fees, two of them, Creative Moble Technologies and Verifone, processed the charges. These vendors and investigators reviewed reams of data to locate victims and connect the transactions to the appropriate cab drivers.
Those charged have had their licenses suspended. Should the drivers be convicted, their licenses will be revoked. Although most of the drivers face jail time, the length of each driver's incarceration is connected to the amount of money stolen.