back to article Carders fleece $4.2 million from Victoria's MyKi transport agency

Scammers have inflicted some AUD$4.2 million in damages of damage to Public Transport Victoria (PTV) by buying and selling MyKi travel cards loaded with cash stolen from credit cards. The agency in the southern Australian state coughed up the dough to international credit card holders whose cards were fleeced. MyKi cards are …

  1. P. Lee Silver badge

    The Law of Unintended Consequences

    Myki's purpose is to take money from users before it is needed to pay for a ticket and to hold on to it. It is a finance scam that has very little to do with paying for tickets to travel.

    Live by credit, die by credit.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

      Meanwhile, in that London we have already seen the withdrawal of the ability to pay by cash.

      The world is NOT my Oyster, despite the useless floppy Johnson's attempts to keep it all anti-personal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

        "London we have already seen the withdrawal of the ability to pay by cash."

        No you haven't. You just have to pay the cash onto an Oyster card ahead of each journey via machine at the station. It's no more hassle than the old inconvenience of using the ticket office or machines, there's barely any more data trail than paying cash. The minimum top up of a fiver is almost the same as a single zone 1 cash fare, but actually buys you two zone one journeys. Since you don't have to register an Oyster card there's no privacy issue (or none that doesn't already exists through CCTV), and the truly paranoid can periodically return their Oyster card and recycle the £3 deposit onto a fresh card to reduce the build up of journey data.

        1. Anne-Lise Pasch

          Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

          it IS a hassle (and a con) that you have to use Pay As You Go on a bus to get to a tube station to activate the Weekly ticket that should have covered you for the bus journey. And you cant claim that back.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

            And you cant claim that back.

            That's the price of being a tin-foil hatter or privacy extremist (not knocking either, just sayin'). If cost and the activation journey is an issue rather than privacy, just use a contactless bank card to pay on buses, tube etc. Works as well as Oyster, isn't pre-pay, doesn't need activation. And from a tech point of view I was well impressed the other day, when a ticket check on the DLR was able to immediately verify my bank card as being valid for travel whilst we were moving under the Thames.

            Admittedly using your contactless card means you're trusting both public and private sectors with your journey data, but they've already got your movements in far more detail if you're carrying a mobile phone (other than a burner, and even then it could be cross referenced to CCTV).

    2. david 12

      Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

      I have very little sympathy for people who are willing to buy milk at a shop, so that they have it for coffee next morning, or cheese at a shop, so that they have it for lunch next week, but are outraged at the idea of buying public transport at a shop.

      But MyKi was a speculative investment in the idea that the state government could get out a pay-wave debit card before the credit card companies did, and we've been paying for their hubris ever since.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

        >But MyKi was a speculative investment in the idea that the state government could get out a pay-wave debit card before the credit card companies did, and we've been paying for their hubris ever since.

        Except that isn't really it. With a debit card, the money stays in my account, paying off my mortgage interest. With Myki, it sits in someone-else's account. I have no problem with the Myki Pass - buy a week's travel in advance, it's the Myki Money I have a problem with. Take my money knowing its just too inconvenient to go through the process of getting it back. There was nothing wrong with the original ticketing system.

        Then they go one creepy step further and track my movements. I get that they may need to track passenger patterns to understand usage... so put a unique key on each disposable paper/magnetic ticket and see where it goes that day. It doesn't have to be hard and it doesn't have to be creepy.

  2. Loud Speaker

    Obviously Victoria's idea secret is Myki Mouse!

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. s. pam
    Facepalm

    Nah, don't pay them that's the game!

    I used to commute from Sydney to Melbourne regularly to visit customers. I never paid, and did so having learned it was only AU$10 fine (£4-5) if you got caught. Given there were never any ticket checkers, the easy part was to just jump off at a stop if you saw them getting on.

    Melbournians are well versed in this game -- only tourists and overseas visitors and mugs pay on their system.

    1. glen waverley
      Terminator

      Re: Nah, don't pay them that's the game!

      Fine is now around $ A187. Plus a free kicking or broken arm from the authorised officers if yr under about 20 yo. Tho you can opt for an on-the-spot $75 if middle class.

      So the economics have changed.

    2. gr00001000

      Re: Nah, don't pay them that's the game!

      Having lived in Melbourne, the trams were practically free for many people, cheapest PT in the world!

      But they cracked down, at the very time Miki came in and it was impossible to pay for your journey on the tram.

  5. TimChuma

    It is easy to put money on cards, hard to get them off

    There is still no way to do bank to bank transfers of card balances and they still pay in cheque.

    I have a concession that is expiring and there was no way to pay up to the exact day as for the "pass" you have to either do 28 days or 4 weeks minimum. You can have a "pass" amount of days but still have the balance in negative and not be able to use it.

    There is a cascading issue with "paywave" transactions at 7/11 you don't need a pin for transactions under $100 which is where the cards would be being recharged.

  6. -tim

    I found it amusing that a friend's black market Oyster card from London would cause the Myki terminals to crash.

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