Fresh warnings have been issued after a spike in fraud at Pay and Display machines across Richmond.

Reports of bank card scams in Barnes and Teddington have surged this week, according to the Council’s parking and community safety teams.

Car parking scams have waged in Richmond for years, prompting a decision to remove 100 parking meters from the borough’s streets by June.

However, thieves continue to operate in the area. Here’s how to keep an eye out.

How the scam works

Fraudsters distract victims and steal their bank cards by pretending that the parking machine has swallowed their card.

They pretend to ring the number on the parking machines to report the card being swallowed.

However, another fraudster is on the phone and claims an operative will come out to investigate the issue in 30–45 minutes.

Meanwhile, the criminals use the victim’s bank card to withdraw hundreds of pounds.

The victims have all been older residents who may be unaware such scams are taking place.

Parking meter scams surge in Richmond

Parking meter scams surge in Richmond

How to avoid being scammed

It's important to remember it's 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 someone’s card goes missing, they have been a victim of fraud and should immediately cancel their card.

Likewise, people are warned never to insert their card into parking machines when someone you do not know is present.

Alternative parking systems

The Council has an alternative system for cashless parking called RingGo – a mobile phone service where motorists can pay for your parking with a credit or debit card, rather than using a Pay and Display machine.

You can register to use the free RingGo service here.