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WASHINGTON (WUSA9/WMATA)-- Do not buy discounted plastic SmarTrip cards from individuals or non-official sellers. This is a warning from Metro.

In a news release Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik says, "Riders should be aware that any SmarTrip card purchased from an unauthorized individual or website may be subject to deactivation and the loss of any value on the card."

The transit authority also says, "Metro is concerned that its customers may lose money by falling victim to discount fare card scams. The transit authority routinely deactivates SmarTrip cards that are purchased fraudulently and then sold to the public for less than the fare value on the cards.

"The Metro Transit Police Department investigates potentially fraudulent sales of SmarTrip cards, including monitoring activity on online auction sites.

"SmarTrip cards are available for sale at thousands of locations around the region, including dispensers at all Metrorail stations, at Metro Sales Offices, and through licensed vendors including CVS, Giant, Safeway, and Walmart. Any card purchased from an individual or unlicensed source is considered invalid and may be flagged for deactivation."

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