LIRR Ticket Scam Update

Earlier this morning, I posted about the LIRR warning about a ticket scam at the TVM machine located in the Baldwin station. Here is an update as the MTA Police have released new information:

The MTA Police today released a WANTED poster (see attachment) for a suspect allegedly behind an attempt to scam Long Island Rail Road Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) at Baldwin Station. The poster includes photographs of the suspect, identified as Vasile Ovidiu Haidau, a 35-year-old Romanian national who police say has ties to a credit card – identity theft gang in California.

Last week, LIRR TVM technicians discovered a scanning device inside the credit/debit card slot in a Baldwin TVM as well as a tiny camera secreted above the keyboard that was videotaping as LIRR customers typed in their PIN. The LIRR routinely monitors its TVMs for signs of tampering. MTA Police were immediately called to the scene and determined that the scammers had not been able to download any of the information picked up by either device so they do not believe that any LIRR customers who used that machine in Baldwin had their credit-debit information compromised.

Still, the MTA PD and the LIRR advise customers to take precautions to protect their PIN number when using a credit or debit card at LIRR Ticket Vending Machines and advise anyone who finds unfamiliar transactions on their bank statements to immediately contact their financial institution.

MTA Police said Haidau was last seen on Monday morning driving a 2014 Blue Volvo S80 traveling west on Sunrise Highway in Baldwin. The rental car carried the license plate number GXR5959. Detective say Haidau should be considered dangerous and if in anyone spots him they a should notify the MTA Police Department Detective Division at (516) 222-6501 or the On Duty-On Call Detective Sergeant via MTA Police Communications at (718) 361-2201. For tips from the MTA Police on how to safeguard your valuables when riding MTA trains and buses go to:.
http://web.mta.info/safeguardyourstuff/safeguardyourstuff.htm

Click here to view the WANTED poster for the suspect who is still at large.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR Ticket Scam Warning

Yesterday evening, the MTA Long Island Rail Road issued a warning about scam artists who were targeting riders purchasing tickets at vending machines with their credit or debit card. Here is more:

The MTA Police Department is again reminding Long Island Rail Road customers to be on guard when purchasing tickets at LIRR Ticket Vending Machines after the Railroad TVM maintainers turned up evidence that scammers were trying to steal credit and debit card information at Baldwin Station.

MTA Police Chief Michael Coan and LIRR President Helena E. Williams urged customers who have purchased a rail ticket from an LIRR TVM at Baldwin or any LIRR station using a credit or debit car to immediately check with their bank or credit card company to determine if their accounts show signs of unauthorized activity. The LIRR and the MTA Police will continue regular monitoring of TVMs and we ask the riding public to help by keeping their eyes open and reporting any suspicious activity at our stations.”

Last week, LIRR employees discovered card skimming devices and tiny hidden cameras attached to the TVMs at Baldwin during a routine inspection and immediately notified the MTA Police Department. The MTA Police Detective Division is currently investigating the case and has identified a possible suspect.

This kind of scam is nothing new as I have known of issues with this for years. I always make sure to check & feel for such devices when i swipe or insert my card in the machine or at any location for that matter (especially at ATM’s). I urge all of my readers to do the same!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 04-04-14

Get a head start on your weekend plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter by clicking the button in the sidebar as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

Have a safe & wonderful weekend.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Buses Replace Hempstead Trains

Riders of the LIRR’s Hempstead Line should remember that buses will replace trains all weekend between Hempstead & Jamaica due to switch resurfacing & tie installation work. Here are the complete details:

This coming weekend, bus service will replace trains on the Hempstead Branch between Hempstead and Jamaica beginning at 11:38 PM Friday, April 4 and running until 4 AM on Monday, April 7 so that the Long Island Rail Road can carry out important track maintenance work in the area of Bellerose Station, an key section of track that serves the Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Oyster Bay and Hempstead branches.

Full train service will be restored for the AM Peak commute on Monday, April 7. The LIRR will be carrying out switch resurfacing and installing concrete ties, part of the Railroad’s annual multi-million dollar infrastructure maintenance program necessary to ensure that Long Island Rail Road customers will have a safe and comfortable ride.

Eastbound:

Customers traveling eastbound will take the train as far as Jamaica and change there for buses and vans for stations Hollis through Hempstead. Customers should expect up to an additional 33 minutes travel time depending on destination. Those passengers heading for Country Life Press Station will board a van at Jamaica and will arrive at Country Life Press up to 49 minutes later than normal.

Westbound:

Customers traveling westbound will board buses and vans at station Hempstead through Hollis up to 32 minutes earlier than scheduled train times for travel to Jamaica Station where they can board trains to complete their trip west. Passengers at Country Life Press Station will board a local van 50 minutes earlier than normal for Jamaica where train service will resume.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Buses Replace Midday Montauk Trains

For 4 days next week, buses will replace midday LIRR Montauk line trains due to rail testing. Here are the complete details via press release:

For four days next week, the Long Island Rail Road will perform mid-day track inspections on the Montauk Branch. Crews will use an advanced Sperry rail car that can detect metal fatigue and faults beneath the surface of the steel rails.

As crews perform the work, buses will substitute for select trains. Over the four days, 21 trains will be replaced in whole or in part by buses. Customers should plan to build in additional travel time as described below and in a special timetable.

Monday, April 7 – Babylon to Speonk:

On Monday, April 7, buses will substitute for six trains that operate between Babylon and Patchogue or Speonk and arrive or depart from Babylon between 9:26 a.m. and 11:35 a.m. The LIRR estimates that 405 customers will be affected by this service change.

Westbound

Buses will substitute for trains that originate in Patchogue at 9:35 a.m., 10:35 a.m., and 11:35 a.m. Customers who board at Patchogue, Sayville, Oakdale, Great River, Islip and Bay Shore will catch buses that will connect with trains at Babylon. Buses will depart from the stations up to 12 minutes later than the scheduled train departure times. Customers will experience up to an additional 33 minutes of travel time en route to New York City.

Eastbound

Eastbound customers traveling to those stations as well as Bellport, Mastic-Shirley and Speonk will connect with buses at Babylon that will substitute for the trains that normally depart at 9:26 a.m., 10:27 a.m. and 11:27 a.m. Eastbound customers should anticipate up to an additional 23 minutes of travel time.

Tuesday, April 8 – Patchogue to Montauk:

On Tuesday, April 8, buses will substitute for six trains that run between Patchogue and Montauk or Patchogue and Speonk. The trains depart Patchogue between 9:16 a.m. and 12:36 p.m., and arrive between 1:07 p.m. and 4:43 p.m. The LIRR estimates that 242 customers will be affected by this service change.

Westbound

Westbound customers boarding at Montauk, Amagansett, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays, Westhampton, Speonk, Mastic-Shirley and Bellport will be able to catch buses that will connect with trains at Patchogue. Buses will depart from the stations up to one hour and 12 minutes later than the scheduled train departure times. Customers will experience up to an additional 26 minutes of travel time en route to New York City.

Eastbound

Eastbound customers for those stations will connect with buses at Patchogue that will substitute for the trains that normally depart at 9:16 a.m., 11:57 a.m. and 12:36 p.m. Eastbound customers should anticipate up to an additional 41 minutes of travel time.

Wednesday, April 9 – Speonk to Montauk:

On Wednesday, April 9, buses will substitute for four trains that run between Speonk and Montauk. The trains depart from Speonk at 9:43 a.m. and 1:05 p.m., and originate at Montauk at 11:18 a.m. and 2:51 p.m. The LIRR estimates that 90 customers will be affected by this service change.

Westbound

Westbound customers boarding at Montauk, Amagansett, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Westhampton will catch buses that will connect with trains at Speonk or Patchogue. Buses will depart from the stations up to one hour and 16 minutes later than the scheduled train departure times. Customers will experience up to an additional 26 minutes of travel time en route to New York City.

Eastbound

Eastbound customers for those stations will connect with buses at Speonk, and should anticipate up to an additional 28 minutes of travel time.

Thursday, April 10 – Babylon to Patchogue:

On Thursday, April 10, buses will substitute for five trains that operate between Babylon and Patchogue and arrive or depart from Babylon between 9:26 a.m. and 11:35 a.m. The LIRR estimates that 365 customers will be affected by this service change.

Westbound

Westbound customers boarding at Patchogue, Sayville, Oakdale, Great River, Islip and Bay Shore will catch buses that will connect with trains at Babylon. Buses will depart from the stations up to 12 minutes later than the scheduled train departure times. Customers will experience up to an additional 33 minutes of travel time en route to New York City.

Eastbound

Eastbound customers traveling to those stations will connect with buses at Babylon that will substitute for the trains that normally depart at 9:26 a.m. and 10:27 a.m. Eastbound customers should anticipate up to an additional 23 minutes of travel time.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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