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Counterfeiting: Revenge of the TTC booth jockeys

In our youth, we just hopped the turnstile and made a run for the open subway doors. But as we age, we become less nimble, less certain of our ability to outrun even puffing, red-faced collectors let loose from their glass cages. At that stage in our lives, there’s more fun to be had in trying to outwit them: drop less-than-exact change in the fare box, slip them last week’s transfer (I used to keep a collection of old transfers in my wallet), give them a sob story (“The turnstile ate my token!”). The collectors are more annoyed than fooled: they’ve seen it all before, and our bullshit just becomes a staple of their routine. Eventually we mature and pay the full bloody fare. And that’s when they eke out their revenge. Mostly, they just act surly and give us grief. But collector Nafisa Zahur apparently came up with a truly innovative way of outwitting us in turn.

Yesterday, the TTC announced that collector Zahur, 31, has been charged with fraud, theft, breach of trust and possession of instruments of forgery. The charges stem from the alleged discovery that she had been forging TTC tickets, selling them to unwitting riders, and (presumably) pocketing the money. She avoided detection by offering people a pleasant bonus: upon purchase of bogus tickets, she’d offer her marks a ride on the house, so that her own fare box wasn’t stuffed with her fakes. According to the TTC, this is the first time that a counterfeit investigation has involved a collector. But surely some of her fellow collectors must be silently applauding her scheme: The Better Way to Get Even.

TTC ticket collector charged with fraud [Globe and Mail]

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