Port Authority announces first case of ConnectCard fraud

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Port Authority Police Det. Kevin Atkins

Several arrests are pending in the Port Authority's first known case of ConnectCard fraud, the agency announced this morning.

"We know that there have been four ConnectCards that have been fraudulently reproduced," said Kevin Atkins, a Port Authority Police detective.

The ConnectCard system, rolled out late in 2012, lets riders load cash or passes on cards roughly the size of a credit card, which can be swiped at any farebox. The agency has been trying to persuade more riders to use the cards, and hasn't ruled out price changes for cash users to speed the transition.

The fraudulent cards were loaded with monthly passes and sold, Atkins said, adding they were deactivated after Port Authority noticed an unusual spike in usage on the cards.

The agency released few details, but stressed that there was no data breach, and the ConnectCard system is less vulnerable than the paper-pass system it replaced.

"We're talking with the vendor at this time to better understand the risk," Port Authority spokesperson Jim Ritchie said.

Atkins said he could not comment on the number of people the agency plans to arrest, when those arrests would be made, how long the fraud was going on or how sophisticated it was.

Atkins said "several people" have been questioned, and the charges will likely include access device fraud.

The investigation is ongoing and those with information about the case may call Port Authority Police at 412-255-1385.

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