Riders warned against PRESTO cards bought online

Cards sold at auction websites can leave buyers with zero balance, Metrolinx says

Metrolinx has urged riders to avoid fraud by not purchasing Presto cards on online auction websites.

Fraudsters sell Presto cards on online marketplaces for a low price, but the scheme leaves customers with a zero balance card, Metrolinx spokesperson Vanessa Barrasa said.

“Even when the fraudster is able to verify the amount on the balance checker with the customer, shortly afterwards the fraudster withdraws the funds and the customer is left with a PRESTO card with a zero balance,” Barrasa said.

In 2016 after Metrolinx similarly warned customers not to purchase Presto cards from unauthorized dealers, the number of online schemes reduced, she said.

Barrasa provided some security tips for customers:

  • Only purchase PRESTO cards online at prestocard.ca or in person at authorized customer service outlets listed on the PRESTO website.
  • Never purchase a PRESTO card from online auction websites.
  • Do not purchase a used PRESTO card from another person.
  • Register your card online to protect the money in your account in case your card is ever lost or stolen.
  • If your PRESTO card is lost or stolen, report it immediately. A registered card can be blocked from use to protect the balance and transfer it to a replacement card.
  • If you suspect fraud, notify local police.