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Used a 16+ fake Oyster Card unknowingly? Now in Legal Trouble.


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Hello, first of all I would like to say I'm really glad I found this forum.

After looking through some of these recent posts, I've noticed that others have had invalid 16+ oyster cards made for them and also got into trouble with inspectors.

 

My case however, seems to be slightly different.

 

I am an 18-year old student currently in full time education.

This means that I am entitled to a 16+ oyster card already, and eligible for free travel.

 

However, I couldn't figure out how to make the account and actually get the oyster card.

I've noticed a lot of people on social media getting these 16+ oyster cards.

At first I assumed this was for people who didn't know how to set up the account themselves.

 

There was one particular guy on Snapchat, who was advertising these 16+ oyster cards.

He kept posting people using his 'service' and thanking him and since I didn't know how to do it myself I just decided to let him do it for me.

I messaged him, and he said he will do it for £50.

 

At first I was like what the hell, £50 just to set up an account?

But since so many people used his service I thought it must have been a complicated process

(which is a very stupid thing to assume now that I look back on it).

 

But of course me being the stupid 18 year old, I thought to myself that I want to get an oyster card as soon as possible since I was tired of walking 1+ hours to get to college and the guy convinced me he will have everything ready for me within 15 minutes.

 

I have recently started working my first job, and got my first couple pay checks

I'm stupidly thinking "whatever I can afford the luxury of having this done for me".

 

I send this guy a photo, my address, my full name and my date of birth.

He sends me back log-in information and I pay for the £20 oyster card fee.

Few days later my oyster card comes no problem.

 

Now, I'm in my last year of college (finishing in 2019) but my oyster card expiry date said 2020.

I message this guy on Snapchat saying why does it say the oyster card expires in 2020 when I'm finishing college in 2019.

He says to me that on the system it will say I'm 17 years old, but because college is usually a 2 year course it will expire then.

 

I was thinking that's really odd, I assumed the system would obviously say my actual date of birth.

I should've noticed this is a red flag, but I had already received my oyster card

I'm thinking that TFL obviously must have checked the account,

and confirmed that I was eligible,

otherwise I wouldn't have received the card.

I just brushed it off without thinking much about it.

 

Fast forward about 1-2 months of using the oyster card no problem,

inspector comes on and I give him the card.

He asks for my name and I point to the card and say my name.

He asks for my age/date of birth.

 

I was born in the year 2000.

I say my actual date of birth, but remember that the guy said on the system it will say I'm 17.

said "10th of May, two thousand-----and one"

I added the "one" at the end thinking that it will say I'm 17 on the system so it would make more sense.

 

Inspector says okay, and it was my stop approaching I let him know that it's my stop and he nodded his head.

I got off and that was that.

Didn't think anything about it at the time.

 

Fast forward again about 3 weeks, my oyster card stops working.

I didn't for a second think that the inspector thing and my card stopping was related at all,

in fact I had already forgotten about him by that time.

 

i'm wondering why my card stopped working. I'm talking to my friend at college later that day and I asked him if he's got a 16+ oyster card. He says yes. I ask is it working? He says Yeah. So I ask how did he get the oyster card.

 

He said he made an account on TFL, printed out a form, got it stamped and signed by the college and sent it to the post office.

I was like "oooh damn I didn't do that, that's why it got stopped".

 

now I'm annoyed that my oyster card is not working when I paid £50 for it,

especially now that I know how to set it up myself and the guy never gave me a form to give to the college.

 

I look for this guy's Snapchat that got me the oyster card, and it seems that he deleted it.

 

I'm really annoyed now but oh well, I guess it's a lesson learned I thought to myself.

I had about 6 more months at college by then I just decided to start walking again so that I didn't have to pay another £20 fee.

 

Now here's the ice breaker.

About 1 month after this I received a letter.

Boom - I have been summoned to court for the use of a 16+ oyster card that I was not entitled to.

It says that the inspector which questioned me asked for my date of birth, and I gave him the wrong one in order to make the card appear valid.

 

It then says when asked for my name and address I got off the bus without providing them??

This came as an absolute shock to me. I gave my name, I was definitely never asked for my address.

I gave that date of birth thinking that's what it will say on the system.

 

With the letter, came attached a print screen of my account details (which I haven't seen before).

My date of birth was completely wrong. Wrong day, wrong month, wrong year.

And now it appears that I have to be at court and pay a fine of about £400, plus a potential criminal record?

 

I tell my dad the whole scenario because he has handled cases before.

He gets a bit angry thinking why I didn't ask him to help me make the account,

but I recently turned 18 and just wanted to do stuff without asking anything of my parents.

 

he says I need to actually get a legitimate 16+ oyster card ASAP, to prove that I'm entitled to one.

So I did, and it just arrived yesterday.

 

I wouldn't really be worried about this that much since I wasn't aware of doing something wrong, I was just really stupid to see it.

But it seems that even if you do something like this wrong mistakenly, you're still at fault so I'm a little scared.

 

I've never been in trouble with the law before and had no idea what I was doing was illegal.

What makes it even worse is the fact that the letter says that I got off the bus when asked for my name and address without giving them.

But this is false, I did give my name and I was certainly NEVER asked for my address.

But I'm guessing that they will take the word of an experienced inspector than a dumb 18-year old boy?

 

Should I be worried?

Should I expect to have to pay the fine and/or get a criminal record?

 

Court is supposed to be 6th of March, I'd like to settle out of court but if that's not possible, I'll plead not guilty because I was not aware of doing something wrong.

I do admit and take responsibility for being stupid and not realising that the Snapchat guy saying "it will say you are 17 on the system" is dodgy and doesn't make sense.

But that was when I received my oyster card, and I thought that as long as you receive one from TFL they would have checked the account and confirmed it eligible.

 

Should I contact TFL asap and explain everything as I have here?

I just need advice on this situation and how to approach this.

 

Please note that I am an 18-year old who knows nothing about law.

I would've never in a million years thought I'd have to go to court during my lifetime, considering my extremely boring lifestyle.

But now that I'm here this all feels surreal and I'm filled with anxiety.

 

Advice is greatly appreciated, and I apologise for the long read.

Edited by dx100uk
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I certainly wouldn't be putting any of that three part harmony in any letter to TfL.straight in the bin job.

 

sadly I dont believe most of it.what TfL will make of it is another matter as they've heard it all before...you didn't know it was fake.???.

 

how many times have you used this ?

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Yes, when I was using the oyster card I did not know it was a fake card.

 

To clarify:

I thought I was entitled to the card I was using.

I used the card only for around 2 months and strictly to get to college.

 

Before paying the £20 fee, I ensured that the link I received was to the official TFL website.

I was a tiny bit suspicious that I might be getting s c a m m e d, but that was until my card arrived.

 

Once I received the oyster card, all my doubts about this were cleared.

I knew for a fact that I am entitled to a 16+ oyster card because I am in full time education, and a 16+ oyster card is what I received.

Because of this, I thought the oyster card I was using was valid.

 

When my oyster card stopped working, I thought I got s c a m m e d and just took a lesson from it to not fall for something like that again.

 

When I received a summons to the court, I began researching this and came across this forum and some other threads.

I then saw that many people did exactly what I did, but it seems that they were not in full-time education and were not entitled to one.

They bought an oyster card on social media in order to get free travel when they weren't supposed to?

 

I didn't know people did this when contacting the person on Snapchat,

I bought the oyster card because I thought he will set up the account all for me and I wouldn't have to bother with it.

 

I think this was my main mistake, I was incredibly stupid to let someone I didn't know set up an account for me and the only excuse I have for this is that I was just being lazy to research further on how to do it.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by three part harmony.

Can you help me on this matter?

Edited by dx100uk
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Court date is 6th of March.

With the letter summoning me to court it gave me a few options.

 

Plead guilty and not attend court, and it will take place in my absence.

Plead guilty and attend court,

or plead not guilty in which case the court date will be pushed back.

 

That is the only letter which I have received concerning this matter.

there were a lot of papers that came with it.

I believe I do need to send back a statement for my version of events which I have to send 3 days before the court date.

 

I'd really want to settle out of court if anything, but I feel like it isn't possible.

This is because if I want to give the full truth, I will have to say that I was never asked for my address, which is not what the inspector says.

 

Because of this I feel like they will think I'm lying or trying to get out of the situation and therefore settling out of court will prove difficult.

This is an anonymous forum and people here are not judges, so I can truthfully say that I really wasn't asked for my address.

 

It says that when asked I got off the bus without providing them.

This is really stressing me out, because I know that what I did was stupid and wrong.

 

not everything written here against me is right.

because I'm already in the wrong for the most part, disputing that I was never asked for my address will be less believable.

 

I'm just really scared and frustrated that the inspector wrote this falsely, though I'm sure it wasn't intentional on his part.

He probably forgot to ask me and just remembered me getting off my stop.

Edited by dx100uk
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not important even if you did give your address.

wouldn't of made any diff to what happening now.

forget about it. not an issue.

 

how long have you been a student travelling on trains?

this is your second year so how did you do it all last year?

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Share on other sites

My oyster card was still valid throughout the entire of my first year (I was still 17).

I turned 18 during the summer of 2018 but I use buses strictly to get to college.

 

As a result I didn't have a need to get the oyster card until September of 2018.

I started off the year walking to college, when I found out that I am still entitled to free travel because I'm still in full time education, I wanted to get an oyster card as soon as possible.

Soon after, I came across the social media page.

 

At first I tried to set up an account myself, but couldn't find it anywhere and when I attempted to register, I think it was asking for some sort of 12 digit code which I didn't have.

Me and my friend were going to travel using the bus, for a party which was happening in a few days.

This was the first time I needed an oyster card outside of using it for college.

 

I just decided to go for it and let this person on Snapchat make the account for me so I can get an oyster card as soon as possible and get it over with.

The sooner I got it the better, and it would mean that I don't have to walk to college anymore.

 

Also, I almost never use trains.

During my time of having this invalid Oyster Card I used the train twice, once to go to Enfield and then the second time on the same day, when returning.

I topped up the oyster card and paid for the travel.

 

One thing I know for a fact is that Tfl did not lose any money from me doing this.

Since I am entitled to a 16+ oyster card, which means I get free travel and half price on trains anyway.

I paid the £20 fee as you normally would to actually get the oyster card.

Edited by dx100uk
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your story is so very confusing in many parts and I don't believe half of it.

 

why would you pay a forger £50 then another to TfL £20 if you didn't know it was fake...

so your dads dealt with this type of incident before... wonder what thet was all about and shouldn't of that alerted you to forgers operating on social media?

 

I think the only point to make to them is that you used what you now realise was an advert for a fake oyster card as you had trouble registering on the TfL site and thought this advert did the admin for you.

 

pointout that you as a fulltime student would get the same discounts and free travel anyway but you just got had and that TfL has not lost out..live and learn

the resst of all the three part harmony I would forget about ever mentioning.

 

plead guilty, attend and beg forgiveness..

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Share on other sites

My dad hasn't dealt with this type of incident before.

He has only handled cases in court before (unrelated to TFL), so he is quite knowledgeable in law.

 

I didn't know this person is a "forger".

I was in a rush to get an oyster card as I had plans coming up, and couldn't find the right way to set up an account.

I was getting frustrated and just gave up and let this guy on Snapchat set up the account for me.

 

When making this decision, I knew that it was a bad investment.

I knew that I could eventually figure out how to make an account for free, as it couldn't be that difficult.

But because I wanted the oyster card ASAP and I had made plans with my friends, I just decided to do it.

 

Never in a million years did I think that the account set up for me will cause me any trouble.

Edited by dx100uk
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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Share on other sites

It appears like that's what happened. this was some sort of exploit which allowed people of any age get 16+ oyster cards and therefore enable them to free travel?

 

But in my case, I am entitled to free travel already and just wanted a 16+ oyster card which I knew I was allowed to have.

It seems like I was just careless and let someone make the account for me out of my own stupidity.

 

having considered that, am I still looking at a big fine and criminal record?

If I were to try to give an unbiased opinion on this, I don't think I deserve a criminal record + an application of £350 for this.

 

I WAS still using an invalid oyster card, even though I thought it was valid, so I think I should pay the fares which I owe them (which amount to £40) and that's that. But that's just the way I would see it and don't actually know how the law works.

 

What do you think?

How worried should I be that they'll put this on my record?

should I be expecting to pay the total fine of around £400?

 

To be fair, I think even if I am fined the £400 but it doesn't go on my record, it's not the end of the world.

I can take it as a lesson learned and move on.

 

the possibility that something like this will go on my record and affect my career because of a dumb mistake makes me feel hopeless and defeated.

 

Also, in reference to this; are you really sure I don't have to worry about it?

I feel like the address statement makes a difference.

 

Because the main thing is that I didn't know my oyster card was invalid and didn't intentionally have a "fake" oyster card.

the fact that the inspector said I didn't provide an address and name and got off the bus makes it seem like I had something to hide.

This will make it a lot less believable that I geniuenly didn't know my oyster card was invalid?

 

If I was asked for my address I would have certainly given it which would've further proved my side of the story.

now that the inspector said otherwise, it made it seem like I was trying to hide that I have an invalid oyster card which was not the case at all!

 

After the inspector thing, I still thought my oyster card is valid and continued using it for a few weeks.

I don't know, I feel like that is something I should worry about.

Edited by dx100uk
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I refer you to post 8..

 

and read what the inspectors notes say carefully

it does not say you refused to give your address.

it simply states a fact that you got off the bus.

 

stop reading things into your issue that are not there.

 

so post 10 please goto read that thread

look at what is attached to post 15

 

did you get one of those letters?

could it have gone to another address?

 

there is no harm in you ringing them with your case number and asking why you have not been given the opportunity to state your mitigating or other important facts [as in post 8]

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Share on other sites

Now you tell us...

Lots of examples how to write and what here already

Wish you'd concentrate on what you need to do and say rather than pointless pontification..

 

So as HB asks..what date must you reply by please.....

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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So is this your reply to their letter asking for your version of events or something else? Normally the letter asking for your version is earlier on in the process.

 

Is this letter from TfL or the court please?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I think the only point to make to them is that you used what you now realise was an advert for a fake oyster card as you had trouble registering on the TfL site and thought this advert did the admin for you.

 

pointout that you as a fulltime student would get the same discounts and free travel anyway but you just got had and that TfL has not lost out..live and learn

the resst of all the three part harmony I would forget about ever mentioning.

 

plead guilty, attend and beg forgiveness..

 

Also regarding this, is pleading guilty really the best course of action for me?

I do admit that my actions were extremely irresponsible and I deeply regret them, but I don't think I'm actually guilty of what I am being accused of?

 

I mean - As far as I know I'm being accused of using a fake oyster card which I was not entitled to and intentionally tried to make it appear valid, then alighted the bus when asked for my name and address.

 

I was entitled to these discounts/free travel, didn't intentionally try to make it appear valid (It's just what I thought would be on the system), and didn't alight the bus when asked for my name or address, since I wasn't asked for my address.

 

even though I don't know much about law, I can at least see my actions and compare them to what I am being accused of.

 

From what I know, pleading guilty leads to a conviction for whatever it is that I'm accused of, but if I did not do those things shouldn't I be pleading not guilty?

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pleading not guilty and not attending will almost 100% guarantee a criminal record.

stop trying to cloud the simple issues you have …

 

you bought and used a fake card..the fact that you are entitled to free travel by one anyway is somewhat immaterial.

you made a stupid mistake by using an online site to get 'the card'. that turned out to be fake.

 

you did not refuse to give your details. it does not say that.

it says..

 

when asked for my name and address I got off the bus without providing them

 

its a bit like the DVLA and passport sites that are out there, they charge money for something you can do yourself

you though this site was the same.

 

stupid idea to lie about your age though.

sort of like you knew something was up so your letter will need to address this issue which should wrap it up nicely with the fake site stuff.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Share on other sites

I only received one letter, which had lots of paper work and it was from the court. I will send pictures as soon as I can. I'm not sure if the letter was asking for my version of events or if it was just a statement. I will check and get back to you.

 

Also, is it still possible to settle out of court when the court date is less than 2 weeks away? Furthermore, if TFl do agree to settle out of court, is it still possible that I'll get convicted or anything will show up on my record? Thank you for your help, I will be providing more information regarding the court letter.

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pleading not guilty and not attending will almost 100% guarantee a criminal record.

stop trying to cloud the simple issues you have …

 

you bought and used a fake card..the fact that you are entitled to free travel by one anyway is somewhat immaterial.

you made a stupid mistake by using an online site to get 'the card'. that turned out to be fake.

 

you did not refuse to give your details. it does not say that.

it says..

 

when asked for my name and address I got off the bus without providing them

 

its a bit like the DVLA and passport sites that are out there, they charge money for something you can do yourself

you though this site was the same.

 

stupid idea to lie about your age though.

sort of like you knew something was up so your letter will need to address this issue which should wrap it up nicely with the fake site stuff.

 

If I plead not guilty I will definitely attend the court.

 

I wanted to know; if I do plead guilty, does it definitely result in a conviction or something that goes on my record, or can I plead guilty and get off with just a fine and no record?

 

I do realise that I certainly made a very stupid mistake by getting the card online.

It was something that was very irresponsible of me and I regret it terribly.

Not only because I am now in trouble for it, but also because I allowed myself to fall for something which should have been otherwise obvious.

I should have been more vigilant and knew better, but instead I just made this stupid mistake.

 

I never had any intention of causing trouble for TFL.

Yet this sequence of events has put me in a bad spot and I have now disappointed myself and my family.

 

I've always been a quiet and boring person so this came as a shock to everyone I know and I geniuenly and truthfully feel like this is the biggest mistake I've made in my life.

I am willing to pay off anything TFL feels like I owe them, but the possibility that a mistake like this can result in a record which will follow me and affect my future is absolutely gut wrenching to the point where I started having panic attacks thinking about it all.

 

I just want to know what I can do in this situation, to stop me from getting any conviction or criminal record.

Edited by dx100uk
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