Metrolinx is warning transit users in the Greater Toronto Area about a scam selling second-hand PRESTO cards at discounted prices.

In the past, PRESTO cards with false amounts have been sold on sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Twitter and other online marketplaces.

Scammers will meet in person at Presto machines to show a potential buyer the card balance. Once the money is exchanged and the card handed to the buyer, the seller can cancel the card, leaving the buyer out in the cold.

“Sellers will say ‘I’m moving, I don’t need this card anymore, I’ll sell it to you for a reduced rate,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aitkins told CBC Radio.

Aitkins also says sellers can even go so far as to beef up card balances using stolen credit cards.

Last week about 1,000 Presto cards worth $20 apiece were stolen from an area vendor and the transit agency fears the theft may trigger a new round of scams.

A Kijiji ad for a pre-purchased PRESTO card active as of January 8, 2018

Unsuspecting buyers have already lost hundreds of dollars in these types of scams. To avoid any risk of a scam, consumers are advised to only ever purchase PRESTO cards from prestocard.ca or from an authorized outlet.

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