Bahn wants to take stricter action against counterfeit Germany tickets

Status: 09/02/2023 11:42 a.m

The Deutschlandticket not only brings more passengers to Deutsche Bahn, but apparently also more cases of fraud. Because more and more manipulated tickets are in circulation – now the train is planning stricter controls.

Copied QR codes, Germany tickets manipulated or used by third parties: These are just a few of the many scams that the Pro Bahn passenger association, among others, has complained to the Funke media group. In view of the increasing number of counterfeit 49-euro tickets, Deutsche Bahn now wants to take tougher action.

The company has therefore tightened the controls, said the spokesman for the railway company Metronom, Richard Lemloh. “Our staff is required to show appropriate photo identification such as an identity card, passport or driver’s license as legitimation.”

The Germany ticket

The offer has been in effect since May and entitles you to travel nationwide on local and regional transport for EUR 49 per month. All Deutschlandtickets – digital and analogue – carry a QR code and the name of the cardholder. The ticket is only valid for the subscriber and is therefore not transferable.

In some lanes already stricter controls

The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) was unable to state how many violations have been committed since the introduction in May and how much damage has been caused.

Since then, however, manipulated tickets have been in circulation, said Lemloh. The controls have already been tightened on the regional trains that operate in large parts of central and northern Germany. If you forge a ticket, you take a high risk. “If tickets are counterfeited or used by third parties, we usually also file the corresponding criminal charges,” said the spokesman.

Attempted fraud will result in a fine

And Deutsche Bahn also reports travelers to the federal police if there is a suspicion of attempted fraud. According to a railway spokesman, there is a risk of criminal proceedings not only for fraud, but also for forgery of documents and fraudulent promotion. “For these crimes, the law generally provides for fines or imprisonment,” explained Berlin specialist lawyer for criminal law Vanessa Gölzer. The amount of a possible fine is individual.

Gölzer explained that if someone were to be prosecuted for the first time with the counterfeiting of a Germany ticket, a fine could be expected. “How high the penalty actually is depends on the circumstances of the individual case. Previous convictions, behavior during and after the crime, the background of the action and the income of the person concerned play a role.”

A good ten million people used the new Deutschlandticket in July and August. The VDV assumes that some users of other public transport subscriptions will switch to the 49-euro monthly ticket in the coming months.

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