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October 29, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Coining it in with Metro scam

SOME metro passengers are using an old trick to save themselves a few yuan on subway fares by putting games parlor tokens in ticket machines.

However, this is not appreciated by passengers who end up with these tokens in their change, nor by the Metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, which says it will upgrade its machines in a bid to foil the scam.

But passengers were puzzled why the machines could be fooled by a trick once used on city bus coin boxes.

"It sounds strange to me that an automatic machine would make this kind of mistake," said a passenger surnamed Chen, who heard about trick in a local games parlor.

Players at games parlors buy a pile of tokens for a few yuan to use in machines.

Out of curiosity, Chen later tried the scam himself, using two genuine 1-yuan coins and a game token at a Metro station of Line 8.

He was amused to receive a ticket and have the fake coin rejected at the same time.

Chen alerted staff who soon promised to check the machines at the station.

"In most cases, the machines can identify the tokens and reject them," said Yin Wei, a Metro official with the operations department.

Yin said the Metro's losses to this scam are "slight."

Metro officials said they have contacted ticket machine providers to improve coin identification.

Passengers trying to use bogus coins would be asked to buy a new ticket after a warning, said the operator


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