Scammers are targeting Richmond drivers with a parking machine fraud scam.
Criminals steal the victim’s bank card by pretending the Pay and Display parking machine swallowed their card.
Richmond Council received several reports in last few weeks from Kew, Twickenham and Teddington, with scammers stealing thousands of pounds in only a few minutes.
Parking machines are built so that cards can only be partly inserted, making it impossible for them to swallow a card.
Motorists should be careful about inserting the card if someone they don’t know is present, warned the council.
Councillor Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee for Richmond Council, said: “Until the criminals are caught please take extra care to be on guard against scammers and tell your friends and family, who might not have seen this warning message, to be careful too.
“We will be working with local police Safer Neighbourhoods Teams to put a stop to these crimes.
“In the meantime, please try to use contactless payments or cash at parking machines or use RingGo. If you think you might have fallen victim to this scam, contact your bank immediately to cancel your bank card.”
RingGo is a cashless mobile parking service run by Richmond Council.
You can find more information about RingGo here.