Fraudsters Rip $4.2M Off Myki In Black Market Card Scam

Look, truth be told there’s a fair bit to this story involving some serious organisation and a shockingly large spate of credit theft and fraud. But the bottom line to it all is this:

People would much rather buy a black market Myki card than face the risk of copping a fine from Ticket Inspectors.
As it turns out, the much maligned “smart” card public transport ticketing system has routinely been a carriage service for mass credit card fraud.
People from overseas have been having their credit card information stolen, and that info is then being used to load up Myki cards – in amounts ranging from $120 to $4000 – which are then sold at less than face value.
You read that right. Public transport tickets are now on the black market, with people paying a significant amount of money for them because a) Their use of public transport will ordinarily be equal to or greater than that amount, and b) The monetary threat of fines is too great to ignore.
Here’s the real kicker though. Public Transport Victoria has been well aware of the fraud, which has been occurring since May of 2012. What’s more, the ombudsman doesn’t believe it to be a systemic issue, and Victoria Police’s hands are tied because the offences aren’t occurring in Australia – victims cards are being mined from places like Thailand, Turkey, Canada, Malaysia, and Spain.
PTV has had to deal with it themselves by simply refunding the money.
So far, it’s cost them $4.2million. The worst month they’ve had came in September of last year, when some $488,957 was ripped off from the system in that month alone.
Myki finally bolstered their fraud detection technology late last year, which has apparently correlated in a 95% drop in online fraud. But PTV spokesman Adrian Darwent issued a cautionary warning to customers.

“The message to customers is to only purchase Myki cards through authorised outlets such as a retailer or at train stations, or you will be wasting money.”

‘Course buying a black market Myki off a dodgy bloke is still the only way to actually buy a ticket on a tram. But that’s another story for another day.