City warns residents about counterfeit bus passes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City warns residents about counterfeit bus passes

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A problem addressed three years ago has resurfaced for the City and County of Honolulu.

Back in 2010, the city confiscated 200 counterfeit bus passes and cracked down on the illegal practice. But the activity is back.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell hosted a press conference today at Alapai Transit Center to warn residents the consequences of using and selling a fraudulent bus pass.

"Those who are purchasing this counterfeit bus pass is actually violating our statutes and it's a misdemeanor. You could go to jail for less than one year or pay up to a two thousand dollar fine. We want to let people know that if they are purchasing a counterfeit bus pass they are violating the law and of course those who are making the counterfeit bus passes are also violating the law," Caldwell said.

"The city will explore options that are available to it under state and city ordinances that make it unlawful to distribute, make or use these counterfeit bus passes," Donna Leong, City and County of Honolulu Corporation Counsel said. "We are going to work closely with transportation services, TheBus Office, Honolulu Police Department and the prosecuting attorney's office to make sure that we develop and implement a program to get these folks who are doing this unlawful activity."

The city has confiscated one monthly bus pass so far but is wary of the sophistication of the counterfeit pass and is convinced there are more out there.

"The legitimate monthly bus pass has an anti-fraud holographic background. When you try to photograph it, you get a rainbow effect. So you can't actually reproduce the card. What they've done is they've developed a di-cut decal that they put over the front of the prior months card," Director of Transportation Services Mike Formby said.

"If you look at the sophistication of the di-cut paper, this is not a one sales operation. These machines are expensive machines and to be able to duplicate the existing cut patterns on the card, it takes skill. So this is probably an operation that's done in many multiples."

The city's advice is to purchase the pass only at authorized retailers.

"If someone comes up to you and says, 'i'd like to sell you a bus pass. It's a good deal. It's only 15 bucks.' There's a good chance it could be counterfeit. And we encourage people not to do that and to buy the bus pass at the approved stores," Caldwell said.

If you see the counterfeit bus pass being sold, the city urges you to call 9-1-1.

AUTHORIZED RETAILERS:

The Bus Office

Foodland Stores

7-Eleven Stores

Satellite City Halls

UH Manoa Campus Center

HPU Bookstore

Chit Chat Store - Bishop Square

Times Supermarket

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