Scammers using 'clever' tricks to evade public transport fares 'will eventually be caught'

Scammers using 'clever' tricks to evade public transport fares 'will eventually be caught'

Auckland Transport is warning they will catch a number of people who have been using a diversion tactic to avoid paying fares.

The scammers have using creative means to jump on to buses and allude they have swiped on. 

In some cases, passengers have been seen holding their phones over the card reader to make it seem like their HOP card is on the back, giving off the impression that they have tagged on and paid. 

One Aucklander said they saw a version of the "very clever" tactic happen for the first time this week.

"Was on the bus sitting in the front seat right next to the driver when a high school kid gets on, didn't think anything of it until the bus driver called out to them while speeding off. Apparently, it's a thing now," the person wrote.

However other social media users said they had seen it used for several years.

A spokesperson for Auckland Transport confirmed that some public transport users were attempting the scam.

"We are aware of a very small number of people who are essentially stealing from the ratepayers and taxpayers of Auckland in this way. They will eventually be caught and could be fined $150."

The spokesperson said the cast majority of people pay their way, and they have 67 transport officers out on the public transport network throughout the week, checking to make sure people have tagged on or bought a ticket.

"In 2019 we checked 1.78 million cards and we found 21,164 people had not done the right thing and paid their fare, that’s just 1.186 percent of inspections," the said,

"Fare evasion in Auckland is in fact well below levels in other cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne."