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Fraudsters counterfeiting vehicle safety certificates are confident enough to advertise on Facebook. Image: Facebook
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Fake safety certificates for $40 fulfill predictions of fraud

A fraudster offering fake safety certificates to Uber and Lyft drivers on Facebook is fulfilling the predictions of Taxi industry members who suggested this when happen when Toronto shut down its own inspection garage.

An individual called “Khalsa” has posted an ad to Facebook Marketplace offering fake mechanical safety certificates for $40. Purchaser need not show up anywhere or bring their vehicles:

“For safety, I require your email, First and Last Name, VIN, Year, Make and Mileage of the vehicle. You don’t need to physically come in for an inspection, you’ll automatically pass the inspection and receive a digital copy,” Khalsa writes in an ad which is still posted on January 4th. “Safety is $40 via e transfer and will take few hours to get ready. Once info is sent will get started on your safety. Please note: I only provide safety for Uber/Lyft.”

Fraudulent safety inspections and certificates were a top concern of Toronto Taxi industry members when Council eliminated its own vehicle inspections in 2016. Industry concerns are being realized by Khalsa’s ad and others offering fraudulent safety certificates as well as Uber and Lyft identifiers such as decals and dashboard lights.

Regarding the fraudulent safety certificates, Toronto’s Licensing staff told Taxi News in an email, “Safety standards certificate, annual, and semi-annual inspections must be completed by a licensed motor vehicle inspection technician at an inspection station that is licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

“In Toronto, Private Transportation Companies (PTC), such as Uber and Lyft, are responsible for submitting valid Safety Standards Certificate (SSC) or Annual Inspection Certificate (AIC) on behalf of PTC drivers. The City has processes in place with the Ministry of Transportation to verify valid SSCs or AICs, and conducts audits of PTCs to review SSCs and AICs and identify any inconsistencies. If a SSC or an AIC is found not to be valid, then the document is rejected and appropriate action taken.

“For more information on SSC and AIC, we suggest contacting the Ministry of Transportation.”

The City’s “process in place” apparently does not extend to investigating fraudulent certificates, however, as Taxi News’ follow-up questions directed the paper to file a complaint with Toronto Police Services.