Fact Check: Amtrak Does NOT Offer $1 Card For All US Residents That Lets Them Ride Trains For A Year Without Extra Fees

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Amtrak Does NOT Offer $1 Card For All US Residents That Lets Them Ride Trains For A Year Without Extra Fees Phony Promo

Does Amtrak have a promotion for a $1 card that allows every U.S. resident to ride their trains with no extra charges for a year? No, that's not true: An Amtrak spokesperson told Lead Stories that the card is a scam offer.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on August 16, 2023. The caption of the post read:

🇺🇸Amtrak is running a promotion, where all U.S. residents have the opportunity to receive a card for just $1, which can be used to ride trains without any charges or limits for an entire year 🤩
Click on "Learn More" and answer a few questions to increase your chances of obtaining one ⤵️
This promotion is valid in every state❗️

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

amtrak $1 card FB post.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Jul 23 14:54:03 2023 UTC)

There is no such Amtrak card

Lead Stories searched for information on a $1 card sponsored by Amtrak that allows all U.S. residents to take trips for a year without any extra charge. Amtrak's website did not show such a card on its deals, multi-ride and rail passes nor credit cards pages. We also did not find any credible results through Google search: There was mostly information about earning points on an Amtrak credit card for every dollar spent, which is not the same claim the post on Facebook is making.

Lead Stories reached out to Amtrak about the claim. In an email sent to us on August 23, 2023, Beth Toll, senior public relations manager for Amtrak's regional media relations office in Wilmington, Delaware, said:

Yes, this is a scam that was reported a few weeks ago and we are pursuing it with Facebook.

Post does not link to Amtrak's website

The post on Facebook that makes the claim includes a link that supposedly allows viewers to "Learn More" about the $1 card. The link does not lead viewers to an Amtrak webpage: Rather, it is a questionnaire page set up to appear like Amtrak's website. This is obvious when looking at the link's URL, which begins with https://siliconhill.info/, a blog that appears to offer travel anecdotes and advice.

A screenshot of the webpage that the link leads to is included below:

link to fake amtrak website.png
(Source: Screenshot taken on Wed Aug 23 15:13:26 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories filled out the questionnaire to find out the end result. When we finished answering the three questions, we were led to a screen offering us three attempts to win an Amtrak gift card. A screenshot of that webpage is below:

giveaway amtrak gift card.png
(Source: Screenshot taken on Wed Aug 23 15:25:36 2023 UTC)

This suggests that the card "promotion" is actually some sort of gift card giveaway or scheme seeking personal information, not a program actually sponsored by Amtrak.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about Amtrak can be found here.

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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