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More Ventra Fails: Ventra Card Mailed To Woman Who Died Five Years Ago

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 12, 2013 5:45PM

2013_11_12_ventra.JPG The Ventra fails keep coming. A disabled Air Force veteran from Oak Park who has been waiting for his Ventra card in the mail instead received a card for his mother Ann—who has been dead for five years.

Stetson Siler told the Tribune, "We both laughed when we saw it was for my mother, but this made me wonder how many dead people are receiving cards."

"This looks like a big opportunity for fraud," Siler added.

Indeed, among the many issues surrounding the Ventra rollout, fraud has taken a backseat in reports to the long waits to speak with an customer service operator on the phone, the confusing process to activating a Ventra card, the reports of multiple charges and inability to transfer Chicago Card balances to them and the inability of card readers to recognize cards.

The Trib reports the Regional Transportation Authority has a database of deceased former riders it cross references to weed out fraud. RTA spokespeople told the Trib they have been using the database during the Ventra rollout and it’s possible some digits in Ann Siler’s Social Security number were transposed, resulting in the gaffe. RTA projects CTA, Metra and Pace could save $350,000 a year by deactivating cards that would otherwise be sent to dead people. But that’s $350,000 they could then spend sending out multiple cards to a single address in Cleveland.

Stetson Siler had been waiting for a military service pass for weeks in the mail only to be told by the Tribune those are handed out on an in-person basis only at CTA headquarters.