Metro-North wants you to watch out for a bogus Web site targeting commuters who have lost property on the railroad.
The site, lostpropertynyc.com, implies that it works with the railroad and its parent company to return your lost belongings – but it charges a fee, and representatives from Metro-North say the railroad doesn’t make you pay.
Some commuters came close to finding out the hard way.
"I filled out the form very carefully so they'd know exactly what it was and then I hit submit and all of a sudden, it kind of stunned me," said Dave Smith, who was confronted with a price tag of nearly $50 when he tried to get back something lost on the train. "I thought to myself, Metro-North is so bad now that they're charging me 50 bucks just to look for my item, much less find it."
But Metro-North wasn't charging him. The railroad wasn't even running the site where Smith had entered all his information.
"Out of principle, I wasn't going to pay Metro-North $50 to look for my item," Smith said. "The whole thing was very upsetting, and then [more so] to find out it's actually a scam."
The railroad issued a warning Thursday night after commuters complained that online searches have directed them to the official-looking site where you report items missing from trains, cabs and subways.
The MTA doesn't know if anybody paid to file a claim. Upon closer inspection, the site lists someone named "Robert" who supposedly lost a tennis racket on a Metro-North train from New York to New Haven – except it's dated 2015.
The MTA Police have launched an investigation. Luckily, Smith didn't get ripped off and even got his valuable item back: a 3D printed color customized helmet that he hopes will be his good luck charm for fantasy football this season.
"Our commissioner has won every year so I'm hoping that is going to break the spell," Smith said jokingly.
The MTA tells us no arrests have been made. The transit authority also says it’s been unable to contact the owners of the Web site.