A man has been arrested for running an airport taxi scam at New York JFK. He would approach passengers, tell them that the Airtran wasn’t running, but that he’d drive them into the City.
He also claimed to be a Super Shuttle driver and had Super Shuttle logo items in his vehicle, and a professionally printed rate list.
He charged over $400 for the trip and insisted that price didn’t include the tip.
Road Warrior Voices offers tips on how to know whether a taxi or similar in New York is legit. Frankly I don’t like advice such as to wait in an official taxi queue.
I really think the best approach is much simpler.
- Know approximately what a ride should cost.
- Get your luggage out of the vehicle before raising any question about the price you’re being asked to pay.
- Enlist the help of your hotel. They know what a ride should cost, too. And you’re their guest and more important to them than the driver.
- If all else fails, call the police. (This works in most destinations, except where the police are paid off, though calling any given cop it’s likely they aren’t paid off by that particular driver or their cartel.)
In other words, know if you’re being ripped off and don’t back down. Enlist the help of those around you. When it’s obvious to everyone the driver is running a scam, there’s more risk to the driver than to you. But minimize the risk by taking control of your possessions before escalating the situation.
Or just use Uber or similar app-based service. The pricing is a fixed formula, you get a map of your route, and pay by credit card. It’s easy to handle disputes by email and there’s evidence even of the route you were driven — something that even licensed cabs can’t offer.