The Washington Post reported on July 19 that Metro had been the target of a fraud campaign in which offenders supposedly cut up the magnetic strips of legit farecards to create fake ones and then turn them in or sell on the street for half the price. The full article is at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/18/ar2008071801912.html.
I cannot believe the things people come up with to defraud someone or a company. Kudos to the Metro financial employee that quickly found the problem before this became a huge loss for Metro. Supposedly $16,000 worth of farecards were fraudulently produced in the past few months but this could have been a much larger amount if the Metro employee hadn't found the indicator in the financial reports.
My question is how does this affect the average commuter? According to the article in the Post, Metro has encountered fraud before and survived, so i don't think a minor $16,000 will cause an uproar. The immediate effects however are the brightly colored orange signs posted at every Metro station. they warn riders not to buy farecards from the street and the trade-in value has been dropped from $40 to $7. If you have any questions regarding trading cards in you should call WMATA at (202) 637-7000.
Why do thieves like this have to ruin it for everyone? And who thinks of these things? it just amazes me what people will do to scam someone. I mean cutting those little magnetic strips length wise to create multiple strips would be a big pain. It would definitely not be worth the $40 for the time and energy it would take to produce them. I guess it was worth it for someone else though.
- Cheryl O'Connor works for Arlington Transportation Partners in the Residential and Visitors' Services outreach programs. firstname.lastname@example.org.