An investigation has found that cybercriminals are turning to train tickets to make a profit from commuters searching for cheap tickets on the dark web.
With train ticket prices increasing year after year, it seems that people will go to whatever lengths necessary to find a cheaper alternative rather than paying the full price of train travel, even if it means going through the dark web, according to a report from the Express, a U.K. tabloid newspaper.
An investigation by BBC South East has found that cybercriminals are selling counterfeit National Rail tickets over the Internet, providing a realistic look that deceives inspectors.
According to the Express, the investigative team could purchase a counterfeit first-class ticket from Hastings to Manchester for £111 compared to the usual £285. Not only that, but a monthly season ticket from Gatwick to London was bought for only £100 instead of £308.
With seasonal train tickets costing thousands of pounds each year for commuters, this could potentially turn into a quick money-making scheme for many cyber criminals at the same time addressing an expensive form of transport.
Key Ticket Differences
Yet, even though people are willing to pay for these fake tickets, there are a few differences when a fake and genuine one are compared. For instance, on the fake train tickets suppliers are unable to put a magnetic strip on the back, which are found on real tickets.
Of course, that doesn’t seem to be stopping people from purchasing them.
Instead, when they put their counterfeit ticket through the barrier, which then gets rejected, they simply go to a member of staff, who in most cases will simply let them through because of the likenesses to a real one.
Providing an Affordable Service
Train travel in the U.K. is considered one of the most expensive in the world. With train fares increasing at the beginning of the New Year and commuters less than happy about their delayed trains, train strikes, and poor service, it could be understandable why some have taken to providing a cheaper alternative.
In a statement to the BBC, one of the men involved in the counterfeiting scam, explained that they were trying to give people an affordable service as train companies continually stuff their pockets with money.
We wish one day everyone will be able to use an affordable public service. Until then, we will be providing it.
For many who can’t afford train tickets, this is the perfect way of still getting around even if it is cheating the system.
Featured image from Shutterstock.