“Metro warns public about fare card scams”

by Prince Of Petworth August 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm 5 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user m01229


“Metro today cautioned riders not to buy discounted (plastic) SmarTrip cards from individuals or non-official sellers, as the cards may not work on buses or faregates in rail stations.

Metro is concerned that its customers may lose money by falling victim to discount fare card scams. The transit authority routinely deactivates SmarTrip cards that are purchased fraudulently and then sold to the public for less than the fare value on the cards.

The Metro Transit Police Department investigates potentially fraudulent sales of SmarTrip cards, including monitoring activity on online auction sites.

“Riders should be aware that any SmarTrip card purchased from an unauthorized individual or website may be subject to deactivation and the loss of any value on the card,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik.

SmarTrip cards are available for sale at thousands of locations around the region, including dispensers at all Metrorail stations, at Metro Sales Offices, and through licensed vendors including CVS, Giant, Safeway, and Walmart. Any card purchased from an individual or unlicensed source is considered invalid and may be flagged for deactivation.”

  • Patrick Division

    Earlier this summer had a guy outside Stadium-Armory offer to sell me a “fully loaded” Smart Card for $10.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve known several people that have been robbed, whose credit cards were then used in Metro stations (with an hour of the robbery) to buy maxed out Metro cards. I had been wondering how those cards were turned into cash by criminals…

  • Harry

    The implication is that one cannot resell a SmarTrip card under any circumstances, even if one is the legit owner – is this true?

    • Kam

      That popped into my head as well by the way it was written.

    • thatnewplaceon14th

      All the more reason if they are the legit owner.

      All they’d have to do is register the card, sell to to you, then report the card as “lost or stolen.” All the funds in the “stolen” card would go to a new one (shipped to the original owner).


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