The Canadian News

Brampton pizza scam victim who lost more than $4K speaks out


Toronto, Peel and York police have issued warnings about elaborate fraud


A Brampton mother says her family has taken a major financial hit after falling victim to a pizza delivery scam.

Samjhana Shrestha said she thought she was doing a nice thing when a teenager approached her in a grocery store parking lot and asked her to pay for their pizza delivery with her debit card. The teen told her the Domino’s driver wouldn’t accept the cash they had.

She did, and took the teen’s cash in exchange, only to later realize she was the victim of an elaborate fraud. The scammers behind it cleared some $4,300 out of her chequing account.

Shrestha, who recently gave birth to her second child, said the loss means her family is out big money.

The cost of formula is going up. The interest of mortgage is going high. All of the things are going up … you can imagine how hard this is for us, she told CBC Toronto.

Shrestha filed a report with Peel Regional Police and with Scotiabank, but she’s no better off more than a month after the incident. Meanwhile, three Greater Toronto Area police forces have issued public warnings about the same scam in recent weeks, though there have been no arrests.

Even Domino’s is now issuing warnings so people can protect themselves from being duped.

Shrestha said she’s going public with her story in hope that it will prevent others from going through the same thing as she did.

Victim still unsure how fraudsters did it

Shrestha’s ordeal began on March 22 at around 7:30 p.m. in a Fortinos parking lot off Quarry Edge Drive.

The teenager said she could keep his $20 bill if she could pay for the pizza with her card.

She initially tried to pay for the pizza with her credit card, but the man posing as a delivery driver, who she said looked to be in his 30s, told her it wouldn’t work and asked if she could use debit, instead.

Unfortunately for her, she did.

The point-of-sale machine she was handed looked normal, she said, but the tap feature didn’t work. Shrestha is still unsure how the fraud happened from here.

She said she remembers inserting her card and said she was holding it for the entire time she used her pin number.

But somehow, the two men were able to get her pin and she was given a similar card that wasn’t hers.

This is the debit card that Shrestha wound up with after the incident. She said she didn't realize she'd been scammed until the following day. (Laura Pedersen/CBC)

This is the debit card that Shrestha wound up with after the incident. She said she didn’t realize she’d been scammed until the following day.


The next morning she was checking her online accounts (Shrestha said she does routine checks because she’s concerned about online scams) and was floored to see that her account had been emptied.

I checked my account and I saw there’s no money. I was shocked, she said.

She immediately filed a police complaint with Peel Regional Police.

Since then, she said she hasn’t been given an update, although the service tweeted about the scam on April 18.

Peel police told CBC Toronto they don’t have any suspect information to share at this time, but their investigation is ongoing.

Bank hasn’t refunded money

The bank, meanwhile, hasn’t refunded Shrestha’s family.

In a letter dated April 2, Scotiabank wrote: We are unable to find any indication that your ScotiaCard was compromised. As a result, you are responsible for these transaction(s), which will remain debited to your Scotiabank account.

The letter continues to recommend Shrestha contact the police.

CBC Toronto followed up with Scotiabank about Shrestha’s case this week. The bank said it wouldn’t comment on a specific incident but that it takes fraud cases very seriously and will work with the victims toward a resolution.

Shrestha said the bank has agreed to reopen the file, but she is still out $4,342.60.

Domino’s Canada said its delivery drivers are always able to take cash.

Further, the chain said, its drivers wear their full uniform — including a hat — and have been trained to never ask someone other than the intended recipient to pay for a pie.

Domino’s Canada is working with local law enforcement to find the individuals associated with the crime, it said in a statement.

John Rieti · CBC News

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