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Spoke to my neighbour who has said BTP were banging at my door on Monday morning early and were looking for me. Have contacted them today and they wont say anything but I think I know what it relates to.

 

Last June or July I paid for my weekly ticket on the train with the conductor, my card wouldnt authorise for some reasona nd they swiped it on their terminal and it went through.

 

I done this a few times and noticed that it was not an immediate transaction after a while of doing it and seemed to be an offline transaction.

 

I took advantage of this knowing my wages were going in a few days later but what started happening was my bank RBS auto done a chargeback as I do not have a overdraft facility.

 

They would send me the odd letter saying they have reversed the payment and that the company might recharge and ask for it back. I dont check my account really and spend like a maniac and dont kepp track but I know a lot of these transactions werent put through again.

 

I never requested the payments to be reversed and expect them to take the payment as and when, there are about 4-5 months worth of this and I think this is why they were at my door.

 

What happens? Is this fraud or a bye law? or a civil matter?

 

I thought they would put the request in for the payments agin although it is a lot and this built up over time.

 

Any help appreciated, I am seeing the BTP Detective constable later in the week and am panicking

Edited by honeybee13
Spacing.

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Spoke to my neighbour who has said BTP were banging at my door on Monday morning early and were looking for me. Have contacted them today and they wont say anything but I think I know what it relates to.Last June or July I paid for my weekly ticket on the train with the conductor, my card wouldnt authorise for some reasona nd they swiped it on their terminal and it went through. I done this a few times and noticed that it was not an immediate transaction after a while of doing it and seemed to be an offline transaction. I took advantage of this knowing my wages were going in a few days later but what started happening was my bank RBS auto done a chargeback as I do not have a overdraft facility. They would send me the odd letter saying they have reversed the payment and that the company might recharge and ask for it back. I dont check my account really and spend like a maniac and dont kepp track but I know a lot of these transactions werent put through again.I never requested the payments to be reversed and expect them to take the payment as and when, there are about 4-5 months worth of this and I think this is why they were at my door. What happens? Is this fraud or a bye law? I thought they would put the request in for the payments agin although it is a lot and this built up over time.Any help appreciated, I am seeing the BTP Detective constable later in the week and am panicking

 

This is a considerable fraud, with potential imprisonment as a sentence. The fact BTP CID are involved and coming to your house highlights the severity. It's like passing bad cheques.

 

I suspect British Transport Police will be looking at Section 2 - Fraud Act 2006.

 

Get a solicitor for any interview and my advice would be to go "No Comment".

 

Sentencing Guidelines cover your case well.

 

"Not fraudulent from the outset and either, 1) fraud carried out multiple times, 2) fraud(s) carried out over lengthy period of time.

 

If value is under or between £2500-£5000, the starting point is a medium level community order ranging to 6 weeks imprisonment.

If value is around £12,500, the starting point is 12 weeks imprisonment or referred to Crown Court.

If value exceeds £60,000 you will be referred to the Crown Court.

 

(The above is based on a first time offender pleading not guilty)

 

On top of any above sentence, you would have to repay the amount owed, costs and any court imposed fees.

 

If I assume your weekly season costs around £60, over a 5 month period you have obtained services to the tune of £1200. As long as your weekly season ticket does not exceed £200 per week, I suspect you'll just be given a community service order.

Edited by firstclassx

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Oh that does not sound good and I do have previous history as well.I didnty see this as fraud and never asked the bank to recharge these payments that came in, the money was there if they left them and I did contact East Coast a couple of times adn noone come back to me when these weere occuring. I dont manage my account like I should and just over time and I assumed that they would take the payments, why should I been in the doo doo because my bank reversed the charges? I did not set out to defraud them at all at any pointTotal would be circa £3k

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I have just checked Section 2 and I did not intentionally do this so how can that be levied against me?

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

So are you saying that you have deliberately avoided the fares please? And how much do you think you haven't paid?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Oh that does not sound good and I do have previous history as well.I didnty see this as fraud and never asked the bank to recharge these payments that came in, the money was there if they left them and I did contact East Coast a couple of times adn noone come back to me when these weere occuring. I dont manage my account like I should and just over time and I assumed that they would take the payments, why should I been in the doo doo because my bank reversed the charges? I did not set out to defraud them at all at any pointTotal would be circa £3k

 

Hello again.

 

I don't understand why your bank did a reverse charge. Is that because there were no funds in your account? I thought they were normally for credit card payments for goods that aren't sstisfactory for example, but I may have misunderstood.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello again.

 

I don't understand why your bank did a reverse charge. Is that because there were no funds in your account? I thought they were normally for credit card payments for goods that aren't sstisfactory for example, but I may have misunderstood.

 

HB

 

Yes that is correct, I would get a weekly on the monday and the payment would hit wednesday the bank would reverse Thursday and I was paid on Fridays. I at NO point requested thisI did not notice this after a significant period of time but they never collected their payments even when I called them on a couple of occasions

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I have just checked Section 2 and I did not intentionally do this so how can that be levied against me?

 

Sorry, Section 11 - Fraud Act 2006 applies, "Obtaining services dishonestly"

 

not Section 2.

 

£3000 is a a significant amount of unpaid fares.

 

You knew full well that despite handing your card over for payment, the payments would eventually bounce, (you had no money for the bank to handover) and you would have a "free" season ticket. That is fraud.

 

On a technical note, the reason the OP has been able to illegally do this, is due to the technology used by the railway.

Because payments are made "offline", ie, when the conductor syncs his machine up at the end of the day with the main server, payment will be processed then. You can't process payments "online", as you need a constant network connection, which isn't really practical on the move at 125mph in a tunnel.

A card has an "offline limit" which is the maximum amount which can be spent before it stops working, usually at around £100-£300.

 

You can therefore obtain a ticket for up to £300 offline, but when the machine syncs later that day, the "online" system will detect that insufficient funds exist in the account to pay.

 

To be honest, although the OP is clearly on the fiddle, the Train Operating Companies constantly tell their staff NEVER to swipe a debit/credit card for this reason. Some conductors ignore this as they are able to make a small commission on ticket sales, so a weekly season at £100, is likely to be worth around £5 in commission to a conductor. Staff failing to observe their local instructions are to blame for this continually occurring, but that does not excuse the OP for their own actions.

Edited by firstclassx

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Yes that is correct, I would get a weekly on the monday and the payment would hit wednesday the bank would reverse Thursday and I was paid on Fridays. I at NO point requested thisI did not notice this after a significant period of time but they never collected their payments even when I called them on a couple of occasions

 

Hello again and thank you for that.

 

I see a couple of the forum regulars are hovering and they know more than I do. But from what you say, you tried to buy a ticket knowing that you couldn't pay for it and I don't think that's good for you.

 

You say that you have history, do you mean that you've been in trouble with East Coast before?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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The first thing is to get your bank statements so that you can see how much is outstanding and how long it has been unpaid for. Once you know the figure, will you have enough money to pay it all back?

If you haven't got that amount then pay what you can then and there and make arrangements to pay the balance.If there are quite a few unpaid tickets then it is pertinent to ask why the payments were not

represented, why they haven't contacted you until now, and why they continued to accept payments from you when there were other amounts unpaid. Explain that you thought that they would represent the

payments and as they continued to accept subsequent payments you assumed the previous payments had all gone through as you had had no contact from them that anything was amiss.

 

It might be an idea to apply for an overdraft from your bank if you cannot pay the whole amount. Do not tell the bank that the o/d is to pay off an existing debt rather that Christmas is an expensive

time for you [large family etc] and would be grateful for some help to get you over the financial hump.

 

Until you know how much is owed it is hard to say how the Rail Company will react although there are others on here who may have experience of your situation and will advise you once you have an

accurate figure and if you can pay the whole amount.

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The first thing is to get your bank statements so that you can see how much is outstanding and how long it has been unpaid for. Once you know the figure, will you have enough money to pay it all back?

If you haven't got that amount then pay what you can then and there and make arrangements to pay the balance.If there are quite a few unpaid tickets then it is pertinent to ask why the payments were not

represented, why they haven't contacted you until now, and why they continued to accept payments from you when there were other amounts unpaid. Explain that you thought that they would represent the

payments and as they continued to accept subsequent payments you assumed the previous payments had all gone through as you had had no contact from them that anything was amiss.

 

It might be an idea to apply for an overdraft from your bank if you cannot pay the whole amount. Do not tell the bank that the o/d is to pay off an existing debt rather that Christmas is an expensive

time for you [large family etc] and would be grateful for some help to get you over the financial hump.

 

Until you know how much is owed it is hard to say how the Rail Company will react although there are others on here who may have experience of your situation and will advise you once you have an

accurate figure and if you can pay the whole amount.

 

This is more of how it was for me, I didnt notice for months adn never thought there was a problem, the bank hadnt contacted me nor East Coast adn the tickets are attributed to my photocard so they have my details. I dont see me getting an overdraft and I dont have the money to cover it, it's about £3300 I make it. Furthermore I cannot see what the transactions are as I have transferred banks, totally unrelated.

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The first thing is to get your bank statements so that you can see how much is outstanding and how long it has been unpaid for. Once you know the figure, will you have enough money to pay it all back?

If you haven't got that amount then pay what you can then and there and make arrangements to pay the balance.If there are quite a few unpaid tickets then it is pertinent to ask why the payments were not

represented, why they haven't contacted you until now, and why they continued to accept payments from you when there were other amounts unpaid. Explain that you thought that they would represent the

payments and as they continued to accept subsequent payments you assumed the previous payments had all gone through as you had had no contact from them that anything was amiss.

 

It might be an idea to apply for an overdraft from your bank if you cannot pay the whole amount. Do not tell the bank that the o/d is to pay off an existing debt rather that Christmas is an expensive

time for you [large family etc] and would be grateful for some help to get you over the financial hump.

 

Until you know how much is owed it is hard to say how the Rail Company will react although there are others on here who may have experience of your situation and will advise you once you have an

accurate figure and if you can pay the whole amount.

 

The rail company isn't dealing with this.

 

The police are chasing the OP, and will eventually just put the door through if contact isn't forthcoming.

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Sorry, Section 11 - Fraud Act 2006 applies, "Obtaining services dishonestly"

 

not Section 2.

 

£3000 is a a significant amount of unpaid fares.

 

You knew full well that despite handing your card over for payment, the payments would eventually bounce, (you had no money for the bank to handover) and you would have a "free" season ticket. That is fraud.

 

On a technical note, the reason the OP has been able to illegally do this, is due to the technology used by the railway.

Because payments are made "offline", ie, when the conductor syncs his machine up at the end of the day with the main server, payment will be processed then. You can't process payments "online", as you need a constant network connection, which isn't really practical on the move at 125mph in a tunnel.

A card has an "offline limit" which is the maximum amount which can be spent before it stops working, usually at around £100-£300.

 

You can therefore obtain a ticket for up to £300 offline, but when the machine syncs later that day, the "online" system will detect that insufficient funds exist in the account to pay.

 

To be honest, although the OP is clearly on the fiddle, the Train Operating Companies constantly tell their staff NEVER to swipe a debit/credit card for this reason. Some conductors ignore this as they are able to make a small commission on ticket sales, so a weekly season at £100, is likely to be worth around £5 in commission to a conductor. Staff failing to observe their local instructions are to blame for this continually occurring, but that does not excuse the OP for their own actions.

 

Totally incorrect that I made these payments with a view they would bounce, first and foremost when I would see them on my online statement it would show the payment as paid and then my wages go in a few days later, then it would show a revised date recharge for the thursday before my wages, so at a glance I totally believed these were being paid and didnt twig for a good few months. Some weeks they were paid and others it now seems werent it was all dependant on when they uploaded the data from what you say.If I was happy doing this whyu would I contact them twice and they say to call me back?

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Sorry, I have been a while answering your first post and others have got in before me. I thought you might have had a few hundred involved rather than be in the thousands so the overdraft idea will be no good.

 

Although going by Firstcass's post it would be best if you could reduce the amount outstanding to under £2500 so perhaps an overdraft might help though that may be difficult if you have had a fair number of

refused payments.

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The rail company isn't dealing with this.

 

The police are chasing the OP, and will eventually just put the door through if contact isn't forthcoming.

 

Did you not read my post I have contacted them, I was away over the new year

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This is more of how it was for me, I didnt notice for months adn never thought there was a problem, the bank hadnt contacted me nor East Coast adn the tickets are attributed to my photocard so they have my details. I dont see me getting an overdraft and I dont have the money to cover it, it's about £3300 I make it. Furthermore I cannot see what the transactions are as I have transferred banks, totally unrelated.

 

Thank you for that.

 

So the upshot is that you've travelled for weeks and months without paying? I'm afraid to say I think firstclassx may have a point. I don't think not checking your bank account is likely to count as a good excuse, but hope I'm wrong.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Sorry, more crossed posts.

 

So are you hoping that you can say it's East Coast's fault because they didn't contact you to say that the payments weren't made? Or that they should have stopped accepting your card because of the problems?

 

Playing devil's advocate, if they'd done that how would you have managed to travel?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you for that.

 

So the upshot is that you've travelled for weeks and months without paying? I'm afraid to say I think firstclassx may have a point. I don't think not checking your bank account is likely to count as a good excuse, but hope I'm wrong.

 

HB

 

I totally believed these were going through. For exampleWed 13th Sept £175.20 - East CoastFriday 15th Sept £xxx/xx - WagesAfter the two months when I noticed it would showWed 13th Sept £175.20 - East CoastThu 14th Sept £175.20 - East Coast - returnedFriday 15th Sept £xxx/xx - WagesThey would slip it back in after I checked wages were in. I never looked or noticed as I thought it was coming out.

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Sorry, more crossed posts.

 

So are you hoping that you can say it's East Coast's fault because they didn't contact you to say that the payments weren't made? Or that they should have stopped accepting your card because of the problems?

 

Playing devil's advocate, if they'd done that how would you have managed to travel?

 

HB

 

I am not sure whos fault it is, think it is a bit of everyones, mine, theirs and the banks. Its alla pcikle. Yes I would have had the money to travel. Just the way my weekly tickets worked out on the monday morning

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I am not sure whos fault it is, think it is a bit of everyones, mine, theirs and the banks. Its alla pcikle. Yes I would have had the money to travel. Just the way my weekly tickets worked out on the monday morning

 

Thank you again.

 

But whose fault is it that your bank account didn't have funds in it when you knew the deduction would come out of your account? I think you could find that it's your responsibility to make sure the account has enough money in it when you offer payment.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Are you paid weekly or every fourth week? The reason I am asking is that monthly wages are usually paid at the end of each month.

In your case, if your wages are paid mid month you will be better placed to make a payment reducing the debt fairly soon after meeting with the Transport Police if you can't pay anything on that day.

 

You have to show that you had no intention of not paying your fare and you want to settle the matter asap. It will mean that your spending spree will have to come to a halt until you have paid off

all the outstanding. After that you are in the lap of the Gods as to how they regard your dealings with them over the past few months. Whatever the outcome, you cannot allow this to happen in the

future.

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You have to show that you had no intention of not paying your fare...

 

Hi lookinforinfo. How do you think that sits with knowing there weren't funds in the account to pay the debit when it went through? And from post #1:

 

I took advantage of this knowing my wages were going in a few days later but what started happening was my bank RBSlink3.gif auto done a chargeback as I do not have a overdraftlink3.gif facility.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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You have to show that you had no intention of not paying your fare...

 

Hi lookinforinfo. How do you think that sits with knowing there weren't funds in the account to pay the debit when it went through?

 

My best, HB

 

I cannot recall the OP saying that they had no intention of paying the fare.

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I think the only appropriate advice right now is to:

 

a) Find a solicitor, (who will probably recommend "no comment")

b) Start paying the correct fare in CASH. If you can't afford the travel, you need to find an alternative job or re-locate.

c) Come back here once you know what criminal charge(s), if any, the BTP are looking at.

d) Be prepared for the worst, (couple of weeks imprisonment). Probably won't get to that, but at least it won't be a shock if it does.

 

I would encourage you to keep the forum up to date on your progress and the final outcome, as this sort of thing is becoming increasingly common, and it will serve as a useful point of reference for other people in your position.

 

Whilst I lay some blame on the railway for not following procedure and simply booting you off at the next stop, you certainly took advantage of this weakness, causing the train company to suffer a loss, and you a gain, which you knew, and continued with for half a year, only stopping because the police have come looking for you.

 

Every transaction eventually finds its way on to a railway system called LENNON which can reveal exact dates, times, ticket types, payment information etc. This can be cross-referenced with Automatic Ticket Gate data, CCTV and actual witness statements from the people who may have sold you these tickets.

Edited by firstclassx

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