Metrolinx has issued a public warning cautioning its users of a scam involving the Presto fare card. As the government rolls out the new fare cards across the Toronto transit system, the regional transit agency administering Presto revealed that it has received complaints from customers of losing hefty amounts of money when trying to buy a used card from a reseller.
A spokeswoman for Metrolinx, Anne Marie Aikins, stated that “we want to hear from people, because we want to know the extent of the problem.” The government aims to install Presto cards on all Toronto Transit Commission vehicles and at all of its stations by the end of the year. Currently, the cards are being used by GO Transit and some other small transit agencies in the 905 region even though the card has had a long gestation and its development included a series of problems.
In her remarks, Ms. Aikins stressed that the latest issue is not due to a security breach. She elucidated that the scam involves a person buying a Presto card and loading it with as much as $500 and then offering it for sale at a discount, under the guise of it no longer being needed. However, the buyer doesn’t realize that the card had earlier been registered to the seller so he or she can report it lost or stolen after getting paid, thereby freezing the funds. Ms. Aikins stated that “this is a scam, don’t fall for it, you’ll lose your money” adding that “only buy from an authorized retailer.”
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