It's a small miracle that someone even noticed the credit card skimming device at New York's 59th Street-Columbus Circle station. Perhaps it was the disguise holding the tiny spy camera that gave everything away; you don't often find outlet plugs placed above an MTA vending machine. So after an observant commuter managed to spot the malicious operation, the MTA is now urging subway riders to stay vigilant and be on the lookout for similar tricks when purchasing a MetroCard. It's also warning anyone that recently bought one at Columbus Circle to check their bank statement for irregular activity.
The MTA has dispatched agents citywide to ensure other MetroCard vending machines aren't secretly hiding skimming hardware. Buying an EasyPay MetroCard — which automatically refills with funding from your credit or debit card — is the safest way to avoid falling victim to these scams, according to New York City Transit. The EasyPay cards don't require trips to subway vending machines, eliminating the threat entirely. But the MTA is also doing its best to look out for the large number of people traveling underground that buy MetroCards the old-fashioned way.