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  • FIRST POST
    • TheOboist
    • By TheOboist 7th Jul 18, 9:15 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 5Thanks
    TheOboist
    DLR Fine - have I been scammed?
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 18, 9:15 AM
    DLR Fine - have I been scammed? 7th Jul 18 at 9:15 AM
    Last night I got off the DLR at Heron Quays station and at the bottom of the stairs were four hi vis wearing jacket, what I assumed were, TFL employees, scanning everyone's Oyster Card as they passed. They were at the bottom of every stair and escalator and I'd seen this before so didn't question their presence at the time but the way I was treated makes me think I was scammed.

    My tap in at the start of my journey must have not worked as the reader said "failed" (I looked at the screen of the reader to check) and I was pulled off to one side. The man explained that the fine was 40 if I paid upfront, implying that it was more if I did not. I said I'd pay there and then if that was the cheaper option and he confiscated my Oyster Card and my Driving License and forced me to go to the nearest cash machine to get cash out. I questioned everything as a cash in hand fine seemed dodgy to me but he'd taken my ID so really I had no choice but to go get the money out.

    Upon my return he made a big deal of showing me that in my absence he'd only written my Oyster Card number on the official form and would not be taking note of my name or address so it didn't go "on my record". I was crying by this point so I took it as a kind gesture. He then took out a little note pad and made me write my name down on it despite the fact he'd just said he wasn't going to take my name for my record and when I questioned him he couldn't give me a straight answer. He asked me all sorts of questions about what I did for a living, where I worked etc.. most of which I avoided, refused to answer or gave vague responses. And then, after all that, and his exact words were "and can I have your number personally?" As a twenty something young female travelling alone in London who had just been fined, I was already feeling vulnerable and to then be asked if he could have my number seems highly highly unprofessional and inappropriate and this upset me more than the fact I'd just been fined.

    Looking at the TFL website it seems I should have been given a penalty notice letter and should have been told that I had 21 days to pay the 40 fine not marched off to a cash machine and forced to pay there and then upfront. It feels to me like it was either official TFL employees pocketing the cash of unsuspecting commuters or a very very elaborately organised scam (considering there were 12 men in total all with hand held Oyster Card scanners, hi vis vests, clipboards etc.. and really did look like they worked for TFL).

    Has anyone else had a similar experience or have any advice about what I should do?
Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 7th Jul 18, 10:52 AM
    • 5,414 Posts
    • 6,099 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 10:52 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 10:52 AM
    Your questions need to be aimed at TFL.
    Last edited by Keep pedalling; 07-07-2018 at 11:08 AM.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 7th Jul 18, 11:56 AM
    • 20,965 Posts
    • 16,741 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 11:56 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 11:56 AM
    I'd agree that you need to talk to TfL about this, but it does sound dubious at best, there is no way that any TfL employee or representative would have the right to retain your driving licence. It's either a rogue employee or a complete scam - either way it might be worth also speaking to British Transport Police.


    http://www.btp.police.uk/contact_us.aspx
    • antonic
    • By antonic 8th Jul 18, 12:27 PM
    • 1,807 Posts
    • 2,637 Thanks
    antonic
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:27 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:27 PM
    I would post over at rail forums co uk (google it) and post in the disputes & prosecutions section.
    They should be able to help you more.
    LBM Sept 2005 spoke to Payplan - brilliant !
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    • jbuchanangb
    • By jbuchanangb 8th Jul 18, 12:33 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    jbuchanangb
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:33 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:33 PM
    You could also check your Oyster journey history on line, this will show whether your tap in had worked or not and whether you tapped out at Heron Quays. If the tap in worked and you didn!!!8217;t tap out because you were intercepted, then you will have an incomplete journey, for which you will be charged.
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 8th Jul 18, 12:34 PM
    • 8,870 Posts
    • 9,223 Thanks
    pogofish
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:34 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 18, 12:34 PM
    Am I right in remembering that DLR stations are largely unmanned?
    Which would seem to me like an open house to scammers

    Shouldn't there be comprehensive CCTV footage that should be questioned for any further investigation.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 8th Jul 18, 7:52 PM
    • 5,197 Posts
    • 3,213 Thanks
    benjus
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 18, 7:52 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 18, 7:52 PM
    Am I right in remembering that DLR stations are largely unmanned?
    Which would seem to me like an open house to scammers

    Shouldn't there be comprehensive CCTV footage that should be questioned for any further investigation.
    Originally posted by pogofish
    You're right that most DLR stations are unmanned, although it's fairly common to see revenue inspectors checking at busy stations like Canary Wharf and Heron Quays. I doubt they catch any actual fare evaders, as someone intentionally evading a fare would see the inspectors at the bottom of the stairs/escalator and either choose a different exit without ticket inspectors or get back on the train and go to the next stop. But they probably catch lots of people who thought they had touched in but hadn't.

    It's possible that this lot were scammers, but it seems a bit unlikely to me. For one thing, they were able to read the Oyster cards to tell whether someone had paid or not. A busy station like Heron Quays would also be a risky target, as they might run into legitimate revenue inspectors or other staff, even if the station is generally unstaffed.

    I suspect it was a genuine revenue inspector who happened to be dodgy. Make sure he gets reported.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • TheOboist
    • By TheOboist 8th Jul 18, 9:48 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    TheOboist
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:48 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:48 PM
    Thank you all for your responses. I did in the end contact the British Transport Police who with the local police were absolutely fantastic and even went to check out the CCTV at the station in a bid to track this man down. It turns out it was an official revenue block organised by TFL so it seems it is indeed a rogue employee who tried to take advantage of me. I've also filed an official complaint with TFL so we'll see how it is dealt with from there. It was a horrible experience I hope they can catch him so he doesn't do it to anyone else!
    • Armorica
    • By Armorica 8th Jul 18, 10:37 PM
    • 738 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    Armorica
    • #9
    • 8th Jul 18, 10:37 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jul 18, 10:37 PM
    I imagine TfL will take it seriously - if you were due to pay a fine, he was defrauding them as well....
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 10th Jul 18, 7:58 PM
    • 3,071 Posts
    • 1,929 Thanks
    t0rt0ise
    Revenue Inspectors do take cash so that is not odd but not taking your details makes it sound as though he just pocketed the money. Hope they catch him and get rid. Do let us know if you find out what happens.
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