Scam uses swapped stickers to steal Citi Bikes

Local News
Citi Bike removes fleet of e-bikes due to brake issues

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 21: Citi Bikes await riders at a bicycle station in Manhattan on March 21, 2014 in New York City. The leaders of Citi Bike are trying to raise millions of dollars to keep the money-losing bike-share program in business, following a severe winter which greatly reduced bicycle usage in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Citi Bike says it is aware of a scam in New York City in which thieves are switching the QR code stickers on rental bicycles in order to steal bikes unwittingly unlocked by customers.  

The scammers wait for a renter to unlock a bicycle using the QR code, then ride away on the bike to which the code actually belongs, officials said.

Citi Bike spokesperson Jordan Levine says the company is working to address the problem, including upgrading the QR decals on its bikes. Each rental ride costs $3.  

But a customer can be charged $1,200 if a bicycle they rent ends up lost or stolen.

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