Taxi Ride Tricks

How the scam works:

Alright, if you have never heard of this one, you have probably never traveled outside your city. As a tourist, you most likely don’t know the cab rates or the map of a new town. Scammers pose as taxi drivers at airports, without being licensed, using this knowledge on tourists.

They will tell you they are legal. Some of them even have price tables, according to the neighborhood you are going—just to convince you they are legitimate; but something will always come up to change the final invoice.

They usually ask for astronomical amounts at the end of the ride. They probably drove you an extra 20 minutes around town, although your hotel might have been just 8 minutes away from the airport.

Some drivers will stop at different shops along the way, just to make you purchase something–they reeive commission from the owners of the store.

How to avoid:

Always ask at the airport information kiosk which vehicles are the legal taxis. The legitimate ones always have a specific sticker. Unlicensed taxis exist, without exaggeration, in EVERY major city in the world.

On the other hand, make sure you ask at the same info kiosk if the legitimate taxis are all using a meter or are charging by zone.

Why is that? For example in Turkey, if they are charging by the meter, they could still scam you by easily switching the meter from recording "Local" mileage to "Out of town" (or from "Day" milage to "Night"). Just in case you are there, make sure the meter is not flashing Gece ("Night") or Sehir disi ("Out of town") instead of Gündüz ("Day") or Sehir ici ("Local"). Sometimes the meter doesn't have these words and just has a rate "1' and rate "2". Rate one will be the cheaper rate.

How to report:

Make your family and friends aware of this page by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report deceptive practices to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report Scammers To The Federal Trade Commission Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

1 thought on “Taxi Ride Tricks”

  1. WorldTraveller

    It is SO EASY to protect yourself against this type of scam. There’s an app (mytaxicontrol) that knows the taxi tariffs in 170 cities around the world (including Istanbul) and it can calculate the fare before you start your trip: you can negotiate the fare very easily when you know how much it can cost. But you can also let it run as a taximeter and compare its amount to the taxi’s meter:no more Night instead of Day. I use it a lot and in most cases it is enough to tell the driver that I use this app and he will apply the correct tariff and take the shortest route.

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