Prague Police is taking care about a bizarre case. In August a man who was pretending to be a Ticket Inspector has been arrested. He has been promising to recharge the Opencard (the subscription card for Prague public transport) for 500 Czech crowns. Many passengers have been frauded, they payed, but the card has never been recharged.
The 21 years old man was contacting people inside trams and buses. In order to be more believable, he was wearing a a jersey with the public transport logo.
According to the police spokesman, Jan Danek “the approach consisted in addressing passengers pretending to be a ticket Inspector. Then he was offering the possibility of recharging the Opencard for 500 Czech Crowns. For the presumed recharge he used a reader or a mobile phone connected to the internet”
In almost 40 cases the passengers payed, and the fake inspector gave them a “confirmation” that the Opencard has been extended by 1 year. Of course the extension wasn’t real.
The man approached his victims also in a night club
This is the way he acted all over the city. But he didn’t apporach people just in trams. The man looked for his victims also among visitors of shopping malls, among the salespersons in shops and in stands. Once he even tried to offer the Opencard recharge in a Night Club.
“He even approached ice cream sellers on the street, offering the recharge in exchange of 50 crowns and an icecream. And he even got it!” added Danek.
He also tried to sell the recharge in a Wine shop, in exchange of a bottle of wine. Also in this case, he managed to get it.
Some other times he offered to erase any fine from the public transport database and, of course, everyone who payed has been frauded.
Prague Police thinks that the young man frauded much more people than the ones that pressed charges on him, maybe hundreds of people. For this reason the police asks to anyone who has been frauded in this way to call the number 158.
The young man risks up to 3 years in jail.