Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, revealed a new measure on Wednesday, Nov. 8 to combat pervasive ticket scalping and fraud on the popular Kyiv-Warsaw train route.
From now on, passengers can purchase tickets exclusively through the Ukrainian Railways application, but only after verifying their accounts with the government’s Diia app.
Diia is a mobile app, a web portal and a brand of e-governance in Ukraine. Launched in 2020, the Diia app allows Ukrainian citizens to use digital documents on their smartphones instead of physical ones for identification and sharing purposes. The Diia portal allows access to over 50 government services.
On his Telegram channel, Federov announced: “Ukrzaliznytsia [Ukrainian Railways] continues its systematic fight against ticket resellers so that Ukrainians do not overpay funds and do not look for alternative travel options. Now you can buy a ticket for the most popular Kyiv-Warsaw train in the Ukrzaliznytsia app only with Diia.Signature,” Fedorov said.
Fedorov emphasized that the verification process through Diia will validate the authenticity of the buyer’s identity.
He cautioned that accounts engaging in mass ticket purchases and returns would face scrutiny. After verification, accounts found in violation will be blocked, preventing individuals from purchasing tickets online, even if attempting to use a different device.
“Therefore, if the account is massively purchasing and returning tickets, it will be blocked after verification. And the person will no longer be able to buy a ticket online, even if they delete the app and try to pass verification through another device,” Fedorov explained.
“This ensures that only genuine users can access ticket purchases in a hassle-free manner,” he added.
Additionally, Fedorov announced a new feature in the Ukrzaliznytsia app, allowing users to refund international tickets through Diia.Signatures.
The move to conduct the sale of tickets for the Kyiv-Warsaw train exclusively online is part of Ukrzaliznytsia’s strategy to combat fraudulent activities, particularly from resellers who exploit the system to acquire tickets before genuine passengers.
To further deter such practices, the online purchase of tickets is now limited to four tickets per order.
The main fraudulent schemes:
Ukrzaliznytsia has identified and warned against various ticket fraud schemes.
- One common approach involves fraudsters purchasing tickets in advance and reselling them under their name or a fictitious one, leaving passengers stranded when the ticket names don’t match passport details.
- The reseller gets a ticket early, puts their name on it, and later changes it to the buyer’s name. Ukrzaliznytsia warns that these altered electronic tickets are hard for passengers to spot. But railway staff can tell the difference by scanning or checking the passenger list.
- Furthermore, the railway company highlighted schemes where resellers attempt to exploit the system using bots and scripts to secure tickets faster than regular users. Ukrzaliznytsia is actively blocking such accounts, but fraudsters continually adapt with new algorithms.
- Lastly, resellers often monitor returned tickets and attempt to redeem them immediately, employing various deceptive tactics.
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