Public transit card fraud cost NS around €500,000: report
Between 2014 and 2017 fraud with public transit cards cost NS around 500 thousand euros - €400 thousand through fraud with Business Cards, and €100 thousand through people claiming money back for delayed trains they never traveled on, AD reports based on its own research.
A spokesperson for NS confirmed to the newspaper that at least half a million euros worth of fraud was committed in that period.
At least 50 passengers abused the money back in case of delay regulation for years. They used travel information to find delayed trains, and claimed money back for them despite never being on those trains. Until June 2014 people with an NS annual pass or a OV-student card did not have to check in or out on NS trains. "Because of that nobody could check whether the trip was actually made", NS spokesperson Hessel Koster said to the newspaper. NS became aware of the fraud through frequent claiming. "You can not first claim that you were on the train from Dordrecht to Den Bosch and an hour later traveled between Leeuwarden and Zwolle."
According to NS, this type of fraud is now virtually impossible through mandatory check-in and check-out. "Now every claim is compared with the actual travel data", Koster said. The 50 fraudsters that abused the money back in case of delays regulation for around 100 thousand euros, also concluded repayment agreements with the rail company. "A single payment scheme is still in progress, but the 100 thousand euros has been repaid almost in full", Koster said.
NS also lost at least 400 thousand euros to fraud with NS Business Cards. A couple from The Hague and a man from Krommenie are in court this month for that fraud.
The couple from The Hague are suspected of defrauding the rail company between November 2012 and February 2017. They opened nine companies, which existed only for a few months, and took out 90 NS Business Cards on these companies. All in all 191 thousand euros were spent on these cards. "Despite many reminders, no bill was ever paid", Koster said to the newspaper. The couple appeared in court last week. And nine travelers that used these business cards are appearing in court on Tuesday.
The man from Krommenie is suspected of defrauding NS for 200 thousand euros between September 1st and October 31st, 2016. He appears in court on Tuesday.
Last year NS established a team of fraud specialists to tackle public transit card fraud.