SEPTA scammer 'helps' commuters, then swaps their key cards with bogus ones

Justin Udo
September 11, 2018 - 4:57 pm
Police are searching for a scammer who steals commuters' SEPTA Key cards by posing as someone who is helping them.

SEPTA Police/Thomas Nestel


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As SEPTA continues to push SEPTA Key on transit across the map, police say the key card program has already been taken advantage of.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said a scammer has been lurking at the Dilworth Park station. As people get off the train or subway, he pounces on those who seem in need of help using the new system.

"He immediately approaches and offers assistance, guides them to the fare head, and says, 'Here, give me your card,' " said Nestel. "[He> taps the fare head and swaps it out, giving them back a card with no value on it."

Nestel said he's confident they'll catch the perpetrator, but they want commuters to beware.

"We have cameras everywhere, so if you commit a crime on the system we'll have your picture," he added.

Riders can protect themselves by holding onto their own key card and not handing it over to someone else, Nestel advised.

"Register it," he continued. "If it's registered, we can replace it if it gets lost or stolen."

You can also get help from a SEPTA ambassador on the platform, visible by their florescent SEPTA vests.