If you spot someone selling their Presto card for a discount on Twitter, don't fall for it.
That's the message from Metrolinx following a rise in online Presto card scams on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji — and they're now popping up on social media, too.
Scammers try to rip off customers by selling them cards with a value of $400, $500, or even $1000. Then they cancel the card and freeze the money, leaving the buyer in a lurch, explains Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.
The agency warned customers about online scams last summer, which led to a drop-off. But Aikins says the issue has "reared its ugly head again" in a new way.
Now, she says, "people are bold enough to tweet about it."
Scam requires meeting seller in person
The scams are "disturbing" for a couple reasons, Aikins says. For one, they require meeting the seller in person, so they can show a buyer the card's value at a Presto machine — like the ones at Union Station, for instance — and to exchange cash.
The scammers may also be targeting vulnerable people. "We know people who may fall for this scam are people that, perhaps, don't have a lot of disposable income and they're trying to look for a good deal," Aikins says.
Aikins has been calling out potential scammers online and says anyone getting ripped off should be reporting their experience to Metrolinx.
And, if you're looking to buy a Presto card, she says the only way is to go through authorized sellers.
Aikins says it's not clear how many people have been impacted by these scams so far.